With my 75th post yesterday, I went back and read through my blog. As I did, some things stuck out. I recognized some patterns and themes in how I’ve been global from home. These certainly aren’t all the ways to bring your experiences from abroad back with you, but for me, these have been a good way to start.
1. Reflect on my abroad experiences
When I started this blog, I realized that there were lots of experiences from abroad that I had not really thought about again. Through postcards to Grandma, reminiscing with friends, and drawing comparisons with my every day life, my reflections from my abroad experiences has been one of the best ways I’ve been global from home.
2. Interact with people who love culture/travel as much as I do
Since I can’t live abroad right now, I like to live vicariously through others. The Abroad Blog of the Week has been my best way of interacting with others who are abroad living out what I can only imagine right now.
3. Help others experience culture or adjust to mine
For me, this mostly plays out by being a study abroad advisor. I love helping others explore where they want to go and really prepare for their time abroad. I’ve also realized that it’s important to help those who are new to my culture. Volunteering with the local refugee community or with organizations like Cup of Local Sugar are a few ways to pay it forward.
4. Eat and cook with culture in mind
My first Friday Lunch was a shameless ploy to get students to come visit me during the summer, but it turned out to be a great way for me to explore foods of other cultures (and try to make them without a kitchen). Hubby and I have also increased our ethnic dining and I promise to cook more internationally once we are settled in OKC.
5. Practice my language skills
My Italian is definitely an area of being global from home that I need to work on, but I have a plan!
6. Global reads and foreign films
With the start of my regional reading list and some great Netflix finds, I feel like I’m learning so much more about countries that I may never have a chance to explore myself.
7. Creatively incorporate travel and culture into my physical surroundings
Whether it be maps, pictures, traditions, or crafts, I’m trying to incorporate visual reminders of the cultures and experiences that I so love.
On May 16th when I posted for the first time, I had an itch I was trying to satisfy. Having not left the country in over 3 years, I felt frustrated that I was not doing something that I really enjoy. This blog has certainly soothed that itch; it has made me intentional about looking at the world 30 miles from my door and seeing all the culture available to me. I’m excited to see where it takes me next.