Wednesday, October 27

Aisja Cunningham

I am Aisja Cunningham, a Washington, D.C. native, bound to experience traveling the world throughout my lifetime. I was born and raised in the capital of the United States as an African American woman in a predominantly black city with a subculture of its own. From the vernacular, the music, and the environment, the city’s culture was all I was accustomed to for a while. 

Before college, my travel history consisted only of the states surrounding my hometown. Attending Lincoln University has provided me with the experience of living somewhere outside of Washington, D.C. and to be exposed to subcultures that were not customary to me. I was able to view the vast differences and similarities black people embody and the subcultures we have within our own subculture.

It has also allowed me to broaden my horizons to an even further extent by offering me a chance to study abroad. In the summer of 2018, I had the privilege of studying abroad for 28 days on the island of Jamaica. I had the opportunity to study travel journalism and production while researching Jamaican tourism, culture, cuisine, traditions, language, journalism, and destinations. The study abroad experience was the first time I traveled outside of the United States, and it was undoubtedly one of the best experiences of my life. Studying abroad granted me the chance to explore a different country and to be completely submerged in every aspect of the culture.

My future travel goal is to vacate internationally at least once a year. There are so many beautiful places within the world and through being an American; we have the privilege that many people elsewhere do not have: being able to travel to a collection of them. I already own a passport, therefore besides obtaining appropriate funds, there is nothing prohibiting me from traveling. I plan to make full use of this advantage. 

The places I would currently like to visit are Thailand; Roatan Island, Honduras; Bali, Indonesia; and the Blue Lagoon, Iceland. Thailand is the number one place I would love to visit because it is home to the Elephant Nature Park, which is a sanctuary and rescue center for elephants where  tourist can visit and volunteer. Elephants are majestic animals that I would love to see and play with in their natural habitat. I also really enjoy Thai food and would like to try authentic dishes. I would like to visit Roatan Island because they have a resort called Little French Key that consists of a wildlife animal rescue that allows people to swim with jaguars and horseback ride in the ocean. I want to visit Bali and the Blue Lagoon because they both have beautiful sceneries and luxury resorts.

Through studying intercultural communication and tourism, I became more aware, more open, and more eager to visit other places. I am not only more knowledgeable about the cultural differences we will face while traveling, but I am excited to experience different cultures as I begin my journey of traveling abroad.

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