By Shaohan Zhang


We lost two other buses on a divergent exit

Both roads will lead to the same place

We chose the one with less footprints


After making different choices, we end up at the same place. Same destination; Dulles Airport. For this planned trip, everyone’s destination in the United States is the airport, the land we take of from. Where we become free as birds flying in the sky. But what about the whole trip? This is more like a personal question. Everyone has a different goal to accomplish on this trip, with different meanings to find. Where are we going? That is a vague question, one that you cannot answer until the end. Life works the same way, I guess. For me, I always hope to find who I really am. Who is my true self?

As I ran down the airport aisle, my search for self became vague. I could not see the destination – it was too far away. Flags of different countries flash by my sight above me as I run down the hallway. I feel like I never ran that much before. It felt completely different from running on the track during preseason of soccer. It seems longer than the six miles we ran because I did not know how far the destination was. You don’t know the destiny, where you will find yourself. You don’t know where to stop. The seemingly endless aisle is my first real challenge as leader of the day. With the vague path, my goal was also challenged. With this vague path I have to define a clear sight that will help me. I have to find focus.

In thinking about this, I thought a lot about happiness and how it is shared. How happiness is the true focus of life. The trip, and little things like sharing a Twix, is helping me find out who I am. Or at least starting.

Getting people out of line was the next challenge I faced. To be honest, I did not do a good job. I sympathized with the people who were in the line and could not drag them out. I preferred the individual and may even prefer the individual today. I know how it feels to be in the line when you need to be somewhere else – it was not my fault but I also did not want to be late. I want to find the group mentality by the end of the trip.

After 13 minutes of waiting, we finally got the whole group. The teacher leaders looked disappointed and I felt guilty just by looking at their face. I am sweating heavily because of the exercise and guilt. Even though this experience was vague, it made me realize how I need to try.

I feel like as a group we are doing better. People are paying more attention, speaking up louder. The progress is speeding up, and this is a good sign for the group and all of us as we seek the group mentality.

One response to “Divergent Roads (Feb. 25th & 26th)”

  1. Dave's Mom Avatar
    Dave’s Mom

    Shahan – Unfamiliar, no clear direction, a bit of panic and self-doubt. All natural reactions to a new and unusual experience. But you learned a bit about coping and persevering and you grew as a leader. I just bet you are feeling ever so much better about yourself and your fellow explorers by this point in the experience. Good for you!

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