By Chloe Sun
Many years ago, I heard someone say that traveling is one of the best ways to broaden our worldview and to transform ourselves into a growing person. At the time, I was not much of a traveler but his words stuck in my mind nevertheless. Several years later, as I travel across the globe from the Middle East such as Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey to Asian countries such as Taiwan and Hong Kong, from different parts of the United States to Europe including the cities of London and Paris, not to mention Brazil in South America, I have come to appreciate and agree with what that person said.
Travel changes me. Being in a different country, immersing in a culture far different from my own, meeting people who have a different upbringing and outlook on life is an eye-opening experience. As I travel and live in different countries being around with the local people, it feels as if I have been transposed physically into various worlds. I am not only an observer but also a participant. I observe how people go about their daily lives, what they do and what they eat, how they dress and how they talk. I too share some of their experiences by walking on the same streets, eating the same food and taking the same subways and trains. As I am being “transposed” to different parts of the world, I see humanity in its raw form across culture. We all live under the same sun with the same roof (the sky). We all try to make our ends meet. We all yearn for love and connection. We all search for better ways to improve our quality of life. Although in the subways (metro or tube), strangers try their best to avoid making eye contact, the common humanity still binds everyone together. We are all pilgrims in this journey of life, regardless of the color of our skin or the language we speak. Traveling takes me away from my self-centeredness and helps me embrace diversity. It enriches my understanding that God’s world is vast and beautiful.
On my bucket list, there are still many places I would love to go to including Rome, Greece, Sydney, New Zealand, Scotland, Northern Europe; but until then, I will stay where I am and look forward to the next traveling experience.
Chloe Sun, PhD., has been teaching Hebrew Scriptures at Logos Evangelical Seminary since 2004. Her research interests include culture, gender, and identity issues in the Old Testament, Asian American Interpretations of the Bible, and Wisdom Literature. She lives with her husband and son in Southern California.