Anyone who has traveled to a new place knows the stresses of the unknown and unexpected. When it came to arriving to Fårö, Sweden for the start of our Summer School, we all had a bit of a different experience. Some of us found ourselves in a strange place without a clue where to go before we got there^ so it was with three participants from Estonia traveling to the study circle on migration.
The first came by bus. While she knew the bus was organized to pick up her and around 30 other participants, she did not escape three hours of waiting in anticipation at the airport and wondering if it was possible that she alone would miss the bus and be stranded. The second discovered five hours before arriving to the airport that there were no more spaces on the bus and considered how she could hitchhike, bike, or walk 65k at night. The third had safely secured a space on the bus, but his flight was delayed and he arrived a day later. As they waited and wondered how they would get where they were going, some of nervousness was relieved with the hope and trust that it was all worth it.
In the end, the first did arrive on a bus with fellow travelers (and a few empty seats). The second found similarly ‘lost’ peers and realized that she was not lost or alone. The third, although he missed his bus, had the benefit of learning from the experiences of the first two and had proof that the journey was possible and the destination real.
Life’s About the Journey not the Destination (But sometimes it’s great to get there…)
Their travel stories are unique, but people travel everyday; these trips are not just ‘journeys’ but experiences that have an influence on those traveling, following, or waiting alike. In the end these experiences may not be visible, but it is interesting to consider how they shape our impression of our new destination. So, fellow NSU participants, how did you get here and where are you going? As you consider your story, just imagine the endless possibilities of stories occurring at the same time.
Photo by Eduardo Abrantes