Singapore #1: Travel Days

Despite unexpected travel delays, Isabella ’24, describes the groups positive and flexible attitude as their travel plans to Singapore were delayed. 

Adventurous. Enlightening. Unifying. These are all words that have been used to describe our group’s last two travel days from Newark to San Francisco to Singapore! Although these first travel days have proved challenging at times, Kelly 老师 and Feng老师’s unrelenting kindness, patience, and unwavering positivity in addition to our group’s immense excitement for our anticipated arrival in Singapore have outshined any travel setbacks we have encountered.

Adventurous: Unprecedented opportunities such as exploring San Francisco’s Chinatown, visiting the Chinese Historical Society of America, and interacting with Deerfield alumni including 冯老师’s daughter Maggie, have allowed us to make the most out of our time in San Francisco. When visiting Chinatown, eating at the Taishan Restaurant was definitely a highlight! From dumplings to pan fried buns to spring rolls, we had an immersive taste of San Francisco’s Chinese culture, enhancing our eagerness to try Singapore’s cuisine and continue learning more about Chinese tradition. The Chinese Historical Society of America’s exhibit regarding Bruce Lee’s life allowed us to learn about a significant and successful Chinese-American figure who fought against racism in the entertainment industry through persistence and diversity of thought, encouraging us to reflect on our own individual philosophies for success. A quote from Bruce Lee that remained with me from our time at the Historical Society consists of the following: “Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup,” elevating Lee’s belief in breaking through social barriers as well as the importance of open mindedness in shaping one’s own experiences. Additionally, interacting with Deerfield Alumni in San Francisco allowed me to realize the true interconnectedness and expansiveness of the Deerfield community as well as the ways in which alumni continue to serve the Deerfield community by welcoming us abroad.

Enlightening: Throughout the past two days, Feng老师 and Kelly老师 have both emphasized the ways in which the travel challenges we’ve faced serve to make us stronger as these challenges expose us to real-life situations in which we must find effective and quick solutions to unexpected problems. I greatly admire Feng老师 and Kelly老师’s patient and calm responses and I am confident that my ability to problem solve and work through solutions has grown as a result of this exposure.

Unifying: While the past two days have been full of adventure and have bolstered our problem-solving skills, they have unified us as a group above all! Responding to moments of uncertainty with positivity and open-mindedness, our group has learned to make the most of the present moment, from exploring the San Francisco airport in order to make time between flights to playing world geography trivia while waiting to reclaim our luggage. With laughter and perseverance, we have overcome these recent obstacles and I am immensely grateful to call this group my travel family. Thank you to everyone who has made this an unforgettable experience thus far. Singapore here we come!