Let’s Talk Culture

Once again I got the question what I actually want to do once I finish my tourism degree. Except this time the person in question kept asking and the final question was what tourism is for me. What is travelling for me? Why do I find travelling so fascinating?

Cultures was my first answer. When I travel, I want to see the culture of the country. The deepest layer of the people, their routines and how they live. You haven’t seen a country until you really feel the culture.

Just now I have an exam coming up about globalization. One of the most interesting aspects is how it effects culture. Is the whole world really turning slowly into America?

No. Compared to some other travelers amongst us I might have little travel experience, however with what I know and have seen around me I honestly think America can not take over the world and change all the cultures. We will not turn into McWorld.

People might walk down the street in Indonesia with their Starbucks coffee, pass 10 McDonalds, watch American TV shows and want the American dream, they will still go home, take care of their loved ones, do their rituals. The values and believes they inherit from their parents and society are so ingrained, I think it is almost impossible to change that.

The outside of cities might get an American feel to it, but what keeps culture alive is the people themselves. As a traveler you have to go off the beaten track, talk to the locals, experience their daily routine and get a feel of their culture. That’s what travelling is all about for me and that’s what I find so fascinating.

MF - Culture


Digging Deep: An Answer To A Tough Question

School week 2 of my exchange program at Robert Gordon University. I thought I missed going to school, having the alternating schedule, writing papers, struggling through books etc. Frankly I didn’t. It took me until now to figure out what I really was missing, and still am.

I have had a few people ask me what I wanted to do with my education. Still a really tough question, but I am going to try to explain. First of all, that question lead me a few times to ask the other person the same thing. The answers I got were all pretty straight forward and  most of them seemed to know exactly what they want to achieve in life and where they’re going. Either earning money, getting the whole house-car-wife-kids-dog package, starting their own business, climb up the career ladder etc. And here I am, thinking I just want to do something that I enjoy, all the time, every aspect, whatever that may be in the future. Seriously, it’s not an answer people expect to hear (trust me, I have experience) and just leads to awkward discussions.

Discussions that are way to personal and leaves them thinking I’m one of those cliche girls. An I-just-want-to-be-happy kind of girl, but I’m not like that. I have a perfectly clear, non-cliche girl explanation (or so I think) for this big question and I will show you by giving an example.

For this exchange program, I had to choose 1 course, consisting of 4 modules. However, my university back home would not let me take 1 of those modules due to my course content coming up so I had to pick another one. The 3 remaining original modules are exactly my problem — they don’t interest me what so ever. Globalisation, Organisational Behaviour and Brand Management. Can it get any more boring?

This is exactly where my problem lies. As soon as I’m not interested in something, I find it really difficult to motivate myself. A major weakness I’m not particularly proud of, but am fully aware of. I can just hear my mom saying to me for the nth time: “Life is not always fun and easy, just hold on”. But why can’t it always be fun? Why can’t I just do something that’s fun and interesting, all the time?

Let me answer that myself. Because life can be a bitch, that’s why. Now back to the reality. I did choose this exchange program, this school, this course myself, right? (Not entirely correct, but let’s not dwell on that.) It’s all about investing in my future. Just to get a diploma, have a back up plan. Because to be honest, I don’t even know if I want a serious job right away. Why not try to find something that’s fun and interesting– all the time? Combine everything that I like to do and try to make a living from that. How cool would that be? And if it doesn’t work, there’s always the back up plan, the diploma. Or a supermarket.

Enough blabbering about negative stuff and back to the modules. The 4th module kind of makes up for the other 3. I chose this bad boy because it seemed really interesting. Something that would motivate me and I would actually enjoy. Photojournalism. I Love it. Working with a camera, looking at photo’s in a different way, playing with composition and selecting photo’s of your own taste. It’s the one class I look forward to.

One of the best parts of studying at RGU are the societies and sports teams you can join. After almost 4 years of not touching a football, this felt like the right time to jump back in and join the football team. The best decisions I made here. Even though they make me look like an idiot trying to kick a ball, I enjoy every minute of it. Being part of a team, out in the fresh air, losing some aggression and having nights out with the team. It’s awesome.

So what is it exactly that I’m missing? Doing what I want, whenever I want? Being free and have no commitments whatsoever? Having fun all the time? Not being told what to do? Not having any homework? It seems the things I’m missing now and what I want to do in life after university, are pretty much tied together. Perhaps it has something to do with my impatience..But lets not dig any deeper. I suppose I should just keep it real and suck it up, I’m in freakin’ Scotland!