Wrapping and Whales: A Week of Learning and Realizations.
Before I left for Australia, I planned to learn a lot about my major, supply chain management. While I am currently gaining a lot of experience and knowledge about my major, I learned more skills and lessons that I never could imagine. Many of these new lessons have changed my perspective on my capabilities in life.
The first thing I learned this week was how to wrap a car in vinyl. Rather than repainting their vehicle, many people pay to have their vehicle wrapped in a vinyl mesh to change the color of their car or to add various designs such as stripes or symbols. Vinyl wrapping has nothing to do with my major, but my boss told me to attend this class to see how my company trains new employees. When I arrived at the course, I thought I would just be standing in the background, watching the teaching styles of my company. However, Chris, the class instructor, told me I was going to participate in the class actively. I was very nervous, as I had never done anything remotely like this before. I was way out of my comfort zone. However, throughout the day, I started to develop the necessary skills needed and was able to properly wrap a portion of a car (photo shown below). I was proud of myself that I was able to learn an advanced trade skill in one day. It gave me high confidence in my capabilities, and I discovered I could achieve things I never thought I could.
Also, I had many realizations this week about our environment. As bad as it sounds, before coming to Australia, I did not care about the environment. I always believed that the environment was “never my problem.” However, over the past week, I have found a greater appreciation for nature. This week I went on a coastal hike in Bundeena. My roommates and I, hiked and climbed across cliffs and saw marvelous rock formations. As I looked into the water, I saw numerous whales and dolphins swimming through the water in large packs. Also, we saw flocks of cockatoos fly along the cliff side. I have never seen such a plethora of life living prosperously in one area. That walk was the first time I ever saw what an ecosystem looks like with no pollution and limited human involvement. I found a new appreciation for life and have made changes in my lifestyle to preserve the environment. The most significant change I have made to my lifestyle is I have drastically cut down on eating meat. My roommate taught me the environmental issues with eating meat and showed me how it drastically increases my carbon footprint. I have started consuming plant-based substitutes for meat, and I feel healthier, both physically and mentally. Australians are more environmentally conscious than Americans, and this nationwide environmental sustainable attitude has rubbed off on me.
I love traveling and visiting different cultures because I learn so many lessons that I never thought I would learn. A temporary change of scenery can drastically change one’s perspective on life.