Why do holidays always pass so quickly? I’ve just returned from a trip to Indonesia, so I thought I’d share some general thoughts on my first trip outside of Europe. Although I feel extremely privileged to have travelled so far (however let’s not talk about the plane food and the sixteen hour flight), my trip was also quite saddening in some ways. Perhaps because it was my first trip outside of my small, privileged world, I became struck with the peculiar way people live outside of it. Of course, we all know people in the world are poor, but it doesn’t really seem real until you see it yourself. Extreme poverty alongside extreme wealth, living together perfectly naturally as if it were the most normal thing in the world. Although, yes, this does happen in England, the contrast is certainly not quite as striking. Great high rises, skyscrapers touching the tip of the clouds are placed, quite literally, next to a small village of shanty houses (or huts, really). It was amazing to see how happy and friendly they were despite their living conditions!
Either way, after talking to some locals about some of their struggles, it really posed the long known question: how much of our success is down to our own hard work, and how much of it is simply a direct cause of our situation? Education there, especially higher education, is extremely expensive, and many (if not most) find it very difficult to be able to afford it. While it’s something we all know, sometimes it takes a trip around the world to comprehend exactly how lucky we are here to be studying and pursuing our passions.