Challenging Perspectives: A “before” entry


*I wrote this coming in to France, but was only able to upload it the following days.*

Time to destination: 7 hours and 1 min
Altitude: 29,002 ft
Distance to destination: 4,126 miles
Speed: 582 mph 937 kph

As I … Ow.. Hey, watch it!

The seat in front of me is pushed back abruptly, squishing me even further into a small, cramped seat. However, I have very little to complain about. I am after all on my way to Dijon, France.

As I write this, I gaze every now and then to the breathtaking view off to my right. I am currently sitting next to the window and outside my window is the night lights of a passing city. The skies are black or as the French say, noir. The lights trickle onto the black view as intricately and beautifully as a spider’s web. The lights almost seem to glisten and dance in patches. Truly a view that will stay with me forever.

Today is June 27th, 2019, and I, Justin Julian, am on my way to France where I will be studying in the city of Dijon for a month. I owe this opportunity to the generous people in the Foundation for Education Abroad, my FEA Alumni donors Lindsay Lebel and Sarahann Yeh, the RFD, and my college, Kishwaukee College. Alongside the loving support of my family, I was able to secure just enough money to be able to make this trip a reality.

(My view from the airplane).

Being able to sit here and write this out has humbled me. This opportunity does not come often, and I aspire to make the best out of it every way possible. I wanted to make my first journal about my current views and understanding of well… everything. Before I go into this adventure, I want to put down a marker in time where I can compare my thoughts from today to the end of my adventure.

Being about 29,002 ft above in the air can really change your perspective on things. Within the blink of an eye, a unexpected mechanism within the giant plane could send us off course and perhaps to a destination we all hope never to see too soon. At the same time though, 29,002 ft in the air allows you to gaze outside the window where you can gaze upon glistening jewels of orange lights that almost seem to erupt from the black canvas that is the sky in streaks. Upon further inspection, you realize that those lights are considered home to some people. 

People are alive right now. These are people with their own lives, perhaps as complex as your life, who you never have met. This world is home to a vast array of people with their own views, personalities, dreams, memories, and much more. When we pull away and take into perspective just how big the world is, the whole concept can seem overwhelming.

I would agree with you. Gazing down at the sparkling lights reminds me that we are small and many. We contribute to the history of this planet as our ancestors have, and when we are gone from this world, there will be our next generations to continue and do even more than we did. Life will continue despite what we think. We either go along or we stay behind.

It all boils down to our perspectives and our ideals. Our sense of integrity defines the path we take and helps establish the future we have. It allows us to take control and see the world differently. This is why I believe that during this trip, I want my perspectives to open and wide. I do not want to say no to a single adventure. I want to live in every way possible, and I want to learn something I would have never been able to learn had I not gone and tackled this challenge.

This adventure will be tough, but I am not worried. I do not worry because if my perspectives are open, willing, and kind, I shall find success in what seems like failure, adventure in what seems normal, and answers to almost every problem. Its just about how you look at it.

You can look to what could go wrong when travelling 29,002 ft in a giant, metal plane or you could look to what an absolute stunning view you have access to right now and the new adventure you have just found yourself in. I prefer the latter, and let me just say: the view is breathtaking, and words do not do me justice when I say I am excited for the journey I’m about to take.