The two students and faculty member I interviewed for the Global Health Spring Edition of Findings are colleagues and friends of mine. I really enjoyed speaking with them about their experiences working abroad, not only because I enjoy their company but also because I love travel stories. Interesting travel stories, boring travel stories, and everything in between. What was the cool thing you saw? What was it that you ate or did? How do you feel this place is different from that place? How did this place change you? Did it change you at all? I want to know all of the gory details. And while my final written interviews for Findings do not dive into that much depth, I definitely had some very insightful and thoughtful conversations with the subjects of my interviews that gave me a lot of food for thought.
I will admit that I am not much of a world traveler, yet. I relish being able to travel to places through the experiences of others. While I did gain some professional insights about practicing public health in places that aren’t the US, I think I gained more theoretical life experience while talking to my interviewees. From my conversation with Amaal, I learned that you can be still be successful in your endeavors and be met with welcome by near strangers, no matter how out of your depth you feel. My conversation with Jhordan reminded me that what the United States projects about itself is still very narrow, and can be harmful to us as we seek to connect globally. My conversation with Professor Greer reminded me that it’s important to challenge stereotypes we have about places, and continue to fairly and critically compare the US with the rest of the world.
I feel very fortunate to have worked for Findings and have as many interesting conversations as I have had, with people I wouldn’t have otherwise met. Their experiences will continue to resonate with me for a long time.