My last night on Duke’s campus before the ASB trip was spent working fervently on my thesis, doing laundry, cleaning the apartment, and packing for my upcoming week in San Diego. At 4:04am, after getting no sleep, I threw my things into a suitcase and walked to the Alexander bus stop to meet the rest of my wonderful ASB crew. Ten hours of traveling later, we arrived in San Diego exhausted and exhilarated. It’s a shame that I’ve been too tired to fully immerse myself in the city, but with everyone at the same state I was, I didn’t feel too bad about withdrawing into myself for the later half of our first day in San Diego.
I’m torn between leaving my overstressed, overworked Duke mind back in Durham and really engaging myself in the week before me. Deadlines loom over my head, and my finger still mindlessly clicks open my email every time after I unlock my phone.
I returned from abroad just a few months ago, and being with a traveling group of college students brings me back to last fall when I spent three months traveling to four different cities across the world. Mingling in the airport, the combination of exhaustion, excitement, annoyance, and gratitude all came back to me as a pleasant surprise.
Although my mind and body is still adjusting, I have repeatedly told myself throughout the day that I will commit myself to all the site visits, educational sessions, and community service that this week holds. Since I am writing a thesis on migrant workers — where the issue of human trafficking is intrinsically tied in — I am hoping to use this trip as an opportunity to further my understanding of how, why, and when migrants are exploited, and to what effects.
As somewhat of an anti-social person, I was extremely anxious about traveling with a group of ten strangers. However, I have to say that I am really relieved that our group dynamic has kicked off with such a great start — even as we all struggled to stay awake past 5pm.