Before I went on the Journey of Understanding, I thought there was so much I didn’t know and understand. I was quite daunted to come on the Journey. I’m not very academic and I assumed everyone else would be. I thought I’d be the only one in my boat.
During my time away, I realised that I can explore differences, through the deep discussions I had with all the amazing people I met. I felt comfortable talking about everything, from people and politics to religion and personal issues and I was never made to feel as though my questions were unimportant or silly.
So many nights were spent in deep group and 1-2-1 discussions; trying to learn from one another and often help solve problems too. Even our sessions ran way over most nights, as everyone got so involved and enjoyed them so much. Together, we’ve all learnt so much. I’ve learnt about team building, being more open-minded, supportive and maintaining self-control. I’ve also learnt more about religions, cultures, nationality, and other people’s emotional well-being. Surprisingly, I enjoyed discussing and now know more about governments, politics, wars, conflict, race, stereotypes, and so much more! Needless to say, I’ve learnt a lot! I think I knew some of this stuff before, but the Journey taught me more and lots of perspectives too. I think we assume we’re open-minded, myself included, but in honestly, I was shocked at my own ignorance.
I’ve witnessed some of the most beautiful scenes; from people genuinely wanting to find solutions for others’ conflicts and battles, to people who barely knew one another holding hands, encouraging and supporting each other to be brave and to carry on. Even in deep and heated debates everyone showed a level of respect and saw each other on a human level. I don’t think I can yet put a summary on this experience…this is the opening to a new beginning.