Delights and Dilemmas – the Journey Begins!

27 Apr

Having just returned from my third visit to Curtin Immigration Detention Centre in remote WA, the delights and dilemmas of cultural convergence are fresh in my mind. In my final year of a Development Studies and Culture Change degree (a rather exotic name for a fairly generic Arts course) this idea of cross-cultural interaction still perplexes me.

I first entered the volunteer world as wary gap-year student, searching for that ‘life-changing-career-deciding’ package deal. It presented itself as a 3 month stint in Vietnam working with young children – fine, perfect, that’ll do. Four years on, and several cross-cultural experiences later, I’ve realised that those life changes and career decisions do not come as instant revelations but emerge as an ongoing, internal dialogue.

After travelling extensively both as a volunteer and tourist I can happily say that every new place challenges me in different ways, alters my aspirations, and undoubtedly adds confusion to my life! And I wouldn’t have it any other way. While returning to ‘normality’ is inevitable it is surprising how often a fleeting sight, sound or smell can transport you back to those funny, temporary worlds and reveal a tasty morsel of insight…

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