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The World According to Jen

My Scholarship entry - Seeing the world through other eyes

WORLDWIDE | Thursday, 23 February 2012 | Views [281] | Scholarship Entry

As an American, it always fascinated me to hear about other cultures, places where our ancestors lived for thousands of years before bringing a flavor of all of that diversity to this new world, and calling it the melting pot that it truly is. Having been an adopted child, I never knew my own ancestry, which I think gave me an advantage over other children, because it left me open-minded and imaginative. I was not inundated by family ties that left me interested only in the culture where my own roots may have originated. I was hungry to learn about them all.

I was an inquisitive child, and while other kids were busy doing what kids do, I spent countless hours pouring through encyclopedias and geography books, trying to gain an understanding of how other people from other places viewed and experienced the world. When I wasn't doing that, I was asking people to tell me about themselves; where they or their families were from, and what that was like. With a passion for writing, I filled notebook after notebook using the only thing I had to express myself about all the things I was learning about the world... my imagination.

Two of the things I dreamed about most as a kid were traveling and writing. I hoped some day to find an occupation that would allow me to do both, but alas, life took over, and my dreams were placed on a back burner while I pursued work that would provide the financial security and stability that I perceived that I needed to raise my young son, and care for my severely handicapped (adoptive) mother.

Now that my son is grown and my mother gone, my financial requirements not so lofty, I find myself again longing to see the places that I only dreamed of and read about as a child. And, I still write. To be able to experience other cultures first hand, and to write about how others see the world from all of those wonderful far away places, would be my dream job, my utopia.

If it's someday meant to be, I know it will ...because I still dream.

Tags: Travel Writing Scholarship 2012

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