Neo-Liberal Masochism

2011.08.23 by Josh Erb; 545 words.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am at it again. I have once again chosen to leave the comfortable confines of my culture behind and explore the world. Morocco to be specific. Unfortunately, this post is a bit premature. I am still of course in the United States, and will be staying in my quaint hometown until 4:00pm on the 4th of September. So for those of you keeping track, that means I still have 11 days and 20 hours left to wander the old streets of Lena. This wandering may or may not include a bit of marauding. I haven't decided one way or the other.

However, these remaining days will most likely be devoted to business and more business. This is not due to the fact that I have a lot to get in order before I leave, but rather because everyone else is already back at the daily grind or on their own studying abroad trip. Which in fact brings me to the reason I decided to prematurely post on my travels. I just said goodbye to a very dear friend of mine, and while I am overly enthused about both of our travels I can't help remembering how I felt right before I left for France. There is a sense of excitement, of course, but it is also coupled with an overwhelming feeling of anxiety. The inkling that I am on the verge of an unexplored abyss with my foot hanging over the edge, about to be pushed over. Of course, that's what I signed up for, and by no means am I complaining. The unknown is always frightening, and leaving home for a year to study and grow free from the assumed culture of your home country is one of the most mysterious things I have ever experienced. I know that this upcoming year will change me in ways that I could never anticipate. In fact I would be disappointed if it didn't. But again, I am dangling over the precipice of a cliff. A cliff of my choosing. My only hope is that I remain true to who I am, while allowing my eyes to see past the perspective of my culture and experience a part of the world through it's culture and language.

That being said, I am traveling to Morocco. And this will be my first direct contact with a non-Western culture. This abyss is even greater than the one I jumped into when I traveled to Moulins, France. I haven't the slightest idea what awaits me once I get there. In the days leading up to my departure anxiety threatens to overwhelm me, and it's stronger than I've felt in a long time. My circumstances have changed and I'm worried about how this trip will affect me. They say ignorance is bliss, and as far as this trip is concerned I must be the most blissful person around. My hope is that I'll make the most of it, and see Morocco through the eyes of its people. I'll be sure to keep all who care to read up to date as to the fruition of that hope.

Until then, thanks for taking the time.

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