Hello! My name is Wyatt and I’m from Central Wisconsin. I’m 20 years old and I currently go to a small school called Northland College for Outdoor Education, which is located a few blocks away from Lake Superior. Winter is in full swing here so I’m looking forward to leaving the cold for a while, even though there’s tons of things to do in the snow! I enjoy doing anything in the out-of-doors but finding myself in the backcountry is one of my favorites. There’s nothing quite like feeling like you are alone within a wild place. If I’m not outdoors I can usually be found playing video games, reading, watching Netflix, or figuring out what my next trip will be!
I chose to enroll in a Dragons program because I’ve always had the need for travel and authenticity. When I was 16 I went on a cruise to Mexico and I can remember how excited I was to go because I had never left the country before. I had all of these thoughts and preconceived notions about what being abroad would be like, which were mostly derived from books, pictures, and videos I had experienced. When I arrived, I only witnessed tourism and markets set-up specifically for tourists. I couldn’t help but feel like I was missing something.
Though it’s been four years since then, my need for authenticity and desire to travel are still alive. And just like when I went to Mexico for that brief amount of time, I again have many preconceptions about what India is going to be like, just on a much larger scale.
India is this inconceivable world to me as of now. All that I have read and seen about India seems entirely different from the culture and place I have grown up in. Where I have lived in small towns my entire life, India seems to have people bustling around every corner. Where I have grown up in predominantly Caucasian environments, I picture India to be extremely diverse. These are only two examples of some of the expectations I have already made within my mind, and maybe some of them are accurate, but I also see the Single Story forming as Adichie describes it.
Is it wrong to have a Single Story formed before our semester? I don’t think so, and I think it’s almost necessary to have one formed before we embark, otherwise we’ll have no idea of what we should expect. But I do think that we should recognize the Single Story that we have formed and seek to find those other stories while on our semester, though I’m sure it will be quite hard to not find them once we are immersed in India! I expect my perspective to change drastically during my stay there, in a way only someone who has spent an extensive amount of time in India can form. I expect myself to create relationships with locals, and make Indian life a norm. I expect to wake up in the morning and feel like I belong in this, now, foreign country. I expect many things to change, but these are again only more perceptions I have and I truly don’t know what this semester will be like until I experience it for myself.
I look forward to meeting all of you!