As I was filling out a questionnaire for one of my classes, I found myself writing about the travels I have taken over the course of my life. I mentioned a phrase I am now coining (hopefully no one else has) called “small town syndrome.” While growing up I saw several people in my hometown who seemed stuck there. There are large groups of families that live in the county and have been living there for a while. Recently I have seen/heard about several of my classmates get married to people that we graduated with. While I am all for their happiness, I just can’t imagine not getting out for a while. Many of my classmates were born in the county, lived there their entire life, married from there, went colleges close by, and are still living there. Maybe that’s what’s for them, but it makes me thankful for the travelling experiences I have had and the fact that my college is five hours away in another small town.
Being away from home has taught me so many things about people. While travelling during high school to England, Ireland, Wales, Italy, and France, I learned that people may live differently in other countries, speak different languages, and eat different foods, but inherently we are all humans created by God. If I had not taken those opportunities to travel, I would probably see the world as a big foreign place, but now I see that the world is a little smaller and closer to home than I realized as a child.
While in Panama, the connectedness of people became more apparent as I watched children play duck-duck-goose even though they didn’t speak the same language as us who explained. I went into homes in the village we worked in and saw many of the same setups as I see in America, just on a slightly smaller scale and with no A/C or closed doors. I learned there that people desire the same things-the most important of those being love.
All in all, I am thankful that I lived in a small town because it taught me to get to know people on an individual level, but I am also thankful I have seen more of the world than that one small town or even my state or country.