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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.

The Economics of it All

Photo by Aaron Slosberg, Indonesia Semester.

In economics, scarcity is vital to the soul of the subject. Scarcity leaves consumers hungry for more, creating the demand that keeps the market alive.

That is precisely what this trip has done. Three months are but an inhale and exhale in the course of our lives, and being able to spend it in a new country with new people whilst experiencing new emotions is a rare and fleeting opportunity. Now that we are realizing that the trip is drawing to a close, we are experiencing this scarcity — the scarcity of being able to be so detached from our lives that we learn to see with new vision, think with a new perspective, and feel with an open, unafraid heart.

But what this scarcity has done is create demand. A demand for what, exactly? I am not yet entirely sure, but I have an idea.

We will head home and crave the space where we can apply what we have learned about our lives, our world, and our purpose. We will seek challenges that force us to gain more like skills. We’ll stay hungry for adventure, self-inquiry, and a knowledge unavailable in the classroom or from anyone other than ourselves because we know more than we can ever dream of; it is just a matter of finding the means to attain it.

We will search for discomfort and lean into the unfamiliar with curious eyes. We’ll carry a new sense of confidence and self that we ache to use. We’ll start planning our own mini expeditions in life — whether they entail another trip halfway across the world or simply hiking through the backyard. We’ll jump onto problems with optimism for solutions and hunt for the positive. We’ll find places to share ourselves and learn from others openly.

We will seek the true feeling of being alive — not just living — and hold ourselves to live our lives to such standards. In a sense, we will so adamantly keep this experience breathing that we will live like we never stopped traveling.

Because, after all, I think that we don’t just travel to learn about a new reality; I think we travel to understand our own.

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Thank you, Indonesia.