For the record, these reflections aren’t necessarily reflections on individuals in the group I went with; but they are reflections from the empty spaces in my head. Observations I made and further thoughts regarding life experience in general will contribute to some of these reflections. Others will be directly related to the trip (these I believe will be obvious).
When you first travel overseas and fall in love with a culture you begin to degrade the culture and place that formed you as a person. That is, one of the things I loved in Syria and Lebanon was the amazing hospitality of the folks we met. Knowing us for a few minutes, the locals offered us into their homes and offered tea. Not many people in the States would do this.
However when we travel overseas we shouldn’t quickly buy into our romanticized vision of the way things are. For instance, while the people are hospitable there are plenty of other walls to relationship that are present. Don’t speak wrongly of the government. While my time on an interpersonal level was limited, I know that if I had spent a couple of weeks in the countries I enjoyed I would soon find issues that I would change.
The United States has definitely got its issues, but I will take them over any other country at this point. The freedom of speech and ability to move up a socio-economic ladder make it more palatable than others I have known in my short existence.