It is insane to think that in 11 days I will be on a plane to London. I am exited and nervous all at the same time. As I have gotten closer to departure time I have been thinking about it a lot more seriously rather than in just a fun way. We had a speaker discuss with us how when people travel abroad they typically throw their morals out the window and go crazy because they will never see those people ever again. I have the opposite thoughts. I want to make a good impression and represent my school and country with pride. This did get me thinking about if there would be any serious issues I may run into while I was there. For example, differences in culture, standards, food, interactions, and so on. Things may be similar but I expect they will be quite different from what I am used to living in the mid-west.
One thing I have been thinking about it ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one's own culture. I have been thinking a lot about this because a lot of my thoughts have been comparing London culture to my own culture. I have been so concerned with how I could fit into their culture with all of the differences because I do not want to stand out to much as a foreigner. I have never been a foreigner anywhere and it scares me a little bit to think of myself as on the outside. One example is that I do not like tea and England is a very proud country known for their tea drinkers. I never knew what the big deal was with tea but it is something that you do when you are part of their culture. I have been judging them for these small insignificant things that should not matter. Every society and culture differs and that does not make any one better than the other.
I honestly believe it is our differences that make us stronger. One reason I wanted to go to London is because I love to travel. Another reason is because, as a psychology major, I am fascinated with how people think. To have a chance to explore first hand the differences between our two cultures is a great honor. I hope to be able to understand what it is that makes London London. Exploring the differences they have with my own country will help me better understand how everyone can be different and that there is not only one way to do things. They are a very successful country and should be praised for it. Sometimes people choose to dislike things that are different, but if we explored them and tried to understand the differences we may be able to learn from them and be able to better ourselves from it. I could not be more thrilled to visit London and explore how their minds work and how I could possibly incorporate some of their differences into my own culture and life.