Why I’m Here

Priyanka Rao - Ecuador


July 5, 2011

Traveling has been always a passion of mine, since those initial bus-rides ‘round the Hydrabadi loop (India), which was all my mother could do to quiet my infant cries.  Even then, the entrancing rhythm of being in motion, underneath the hum and roll of people talking, brought me home like nothing else could, just as I am now in love with the constant roll of the Indian trains, where people are chugged and dragged along through dust and door and urgent stations.  Finally the beggars’ songs and calls of “Coffee! Hot Hot Coffee!” fade out long enough to cause the passengers to introduce themselves, tumbling out of their protective shells to cling to the fact that we are all going somewhere, we all have somewhere to be.

In such a place, even a third-culture child like me is welcome.  But as I broke through culture shock in American high school, I realized that everyone must tell their story; community can only be achieved through personal resolve and a willingness to reach out and be involved in the world around me.  My open smiles and up-raised hand were the beginnings of a living dialogue which melded together our stories to create a class ready to discuss, debate and decide a path most fitting our combined future.  And I know this is true for a much larger world beyond my home.

The trick to being a Global Citizen, as to being a train passenger, is to let yourself be open to dialogue, wherever your journey takes you.  I look forward to the adventures Global Citizen Year will take me to in Ecuador this upcoming year, and I plan to plunge in wholeheartedly as I open myself to a whole new range of cultural experiences.

I hope to watch a new “cultural railway” unfold between the far dispersed and diverse populations of the world, so that others can enjoy, like I have, the extraordinary phenomena of human interaction; and I invite you to join me through this blog.  Though untrained and inexperienced, I enter the world with an open mind, a passion for human progress, and a mentality of solving problems and giving my all to the work I do.

Priyanka Rao