Something I had written over the summer but had lacked Wifi access to post:

I’m lounging at Shanghai Pudong Airport, on a 7-hour layover on my way to Frankfurt, and since my supervisor said I am free to write on this blog, I’m going to tell you guys all about what’s going on here. Riveting stuff, I know.

7:11 PM: I am laying down. People are upset with me because I am taking up too many seats.

8:02 PM: Some man is taking photos of me. I know because he has his flash on. Shanghai is a curious place.

8:04 PM: I just made a paperball out of my bagel wrapper and tossed it into the waste bin without getting up. Nobody saw it happen. I am disappointed.

9:32 PM: The staff is looking at me weird because I’ve been sprawled across four seats for over 3 hours now.

10:49 PM: Five episodes of Chuck later, it is almost time to board my plane. Exciting stuff. After 2 days of traveling, it is finally time to get back to Germany and Bremen and Jacobs. Only a 12-hour plane ride stands between me and our fall semester.

The hours have ticked by relatively quickly with the help of two seasons of Chuck on my laptop. But at many points in my traveling journey, the time passed unbearably slow, and it forces me to contemplate the concept of traveling.

Most of us take traveling as a mode to get from A to B, means to attain some sort of goal or something we have to just get through. But every so often, traveling seems to be more complex than that – it becomes part of the goal. Traveling gets us to understand where we are going, and appreciate the process that we had to partake. This all sounds very pretentious, I know – but maybe without the 12-hour flight, we wouldn’t comprehend being in a new culture, a new country. Perhaps without dragging a significantly overweight luggage halfway across the globe, we wouldn’t cherish arriving at our Jacobs room and setting up our new home.

Chances are – if you are coming to Jacobs – you are doing some form of traveling. Travel either by plane, train, car, or even walking from your house down the street – so I just want to put forth the notion that traveling is an aspect of an experience.

Take from it what you want, but with all these wishes for time travel – would we really value places like the tremendous Parisian Tower or the big sundial in Shanghai, or our favorite people that lived far, far away, or food tucked away in each corner of the world, if they were within our reach at any point in time?

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