Finland: Pre-Trip

Today’s world is simultaneously both a wide and wondrous space and a tightly interconnected system able to be easily traversed.  This dichotomy brings about a punctuated realization, that we are all both the same and different, each interacting in the common space but seeing the world through distinct eyes.  This difference in perspective is the key to exploration.  What does the other think?  Why does she act?  How does he feel?  One’s current perspective is not superior simply by the nature if its ownership, yet we are each limited by our own understanding.

It is the pursuit of this expanded understanding that has prompted me to return to academia to seek a graduate degree in business management.  More specifically, I have decided to enroll in a study-abroad program for International Business, the cornerstone of which is a trip to Finland and Estonia to meet with various business and academic contacts and to explore the history and culture of the two countries.

It has been some time since I’ve traveled outside of the United States.  Many logistical concerns required my attention as the trip approached:  booking flights and hotels, renewing my passport, currency rates, power adapters, travel insurance and security, and academic program requirements.  Adding to this was the scholastic research and preparation, cultural and historical review, and some cursory review of the languages spoken.

In the months leading up to the trip, I was consumed with other coursework, job requirements, and two unrelated yet no less time competitive domestic trips.  As I drove to DC the night before our departure flight, I was technically ready but not as prepared as I would have liked.  Nevertheless, the time was upon us and I was going to Finland.

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