Thursday, August 25, 2011

Space and Perception

Space is a factor of a person's environment while perception is a person understanding their environment. These two can be connected on many levels as well as they impact each other. Everywhere a person goes, they are making sense of the places, people and objects around them. When there is an environmental change, perception changes. On a personal level, I've experienced multiple spacial changes which have effected my perception of my world and ultimately helped shape the person I am.

One example of a space where I lived and it's effect on my perception was my trip to France through an exchange program. I stayed with a Native French family as we traveled to Bretagne, France right on the coast in the family's beautiful water front house. I also took a mini trip where my 17 year old counter part and I stayed in an apartment in the middle of Paris by ourselves. While in Bretagne, I stayed with the immediate family as well as multiple cousins and such who all live next to each other. Every day we cooked and biked to town to shop or went sailing and had picnics. While in Paris of course I saw the major sites like the Arc de Triomphe, The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower as well as lots of shopping and dining along the Champs-Elysées.

Back home, I live in a small, humdrum town of Palm Coast, Florida in a fairly large house right on the beach with my parents. I know mostly all the people in my town as well as every part of it like the back of my hand. The space in which I live in Palm Coast is routine and boring. I'm comfortable with my school and friends and my house. However while in France, I was a little taken out of my comfort zone considering everyone there spoke French and I'm not close to being fluent. Also I was around people I was meeting for the first time and living with them. Staying in Paris was a lot more fun than I thought. In the beginning I couldn't believe I was going to be staying in an apartment with only one other 17 year old, it seemed like a set up for the movie “Taken”. My time in Paris ended up being an amazing experience and I really learned a lot about France and it's people, places and culture.

My life in Palm Coast differs greatly with the time I spent in another country. The new space in France was a lot different than than my home where I know where everything is. At home I'm about an hour from a city that I don't visit often unlike in Paris where I was up close with city life and people. This experience gave me a better understanding of life in a different country and I was pushed out of my comfort zone, but it made me more knowledgeable person so if I were to go on another similar trip, I'd be ready to explore and take in whatever culture is around me.

Having the chance to visit another country has opened me up to wanting to travel and see the world and not be afraid of what's out there. Because I was placed in an unfamiliar space I was able to gain a perception of more than what I knew in Palm Coast and it has been a benefit towards development.

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