Bio: Taylor Norton

A vendor at a legal market, catering to tourists along the Malecon, Havana, Cuba. © Sean Hughes

A vendor at a legal market, catering to tourists along the Malecon, Havana, Cuba. © Sean Hughes

With globalization and the exposure of other cultures through technology, global studies is an important topic for today’s world. Studying global studies will allow me to learn about the culture of another society, and why people in other countries live the way they do. I understand that people will live their lives in a completely different way than I live mine, and through global studies, I want to understand why they do this. I do not intend to judge them, I merely want to understand the “why” part. I feel that global studies is important because if you can come to understand cultures with completely opposing views and practices, you will be less likely to judge them or cause violence in the world. I strongly believe that everyone has something to teach other people, and that it is our duty to learn as much as we can.

Obviously I love to take pictures, and telling stories through pictures is what I aim to do. I like to do things that will test what I think I know about myself, whether it is skydiving, travelling to a new place, or working on a story that I find difficult to tell. I am very passionate about helping people, and while I do not know how I will help people yet, I believe it is important to know as much about people as you can before you are capable of helping them. If I can help people by telling their stories, that would be even better. Traveling is a way for me to completely immerse myself in other’s cultures and learn as much as I can about other people.

If someone were to ask my “Why Cuba?” I would start out by saying, “Well because my teacher asked me to go, and who am I to pass up on an experience of a lifetime?” But now, after learning more about the culture and the island itself, I can answer that question with a little more passion. Besides the fact that I want to experience a new, foreign place that has a slight enticement of forbiddance, I feel that Cuba has a strong history full of colorful people who have something to offer the world. Even if our own country does not want us to acknowledge them. I find them to be resilient people, who in the face of disappointment by their own government, can still have love for their country. I think they hold tight to their culture, and are very expressive people. Ernest Hemingway is a great writer, and to be able to experience an island that he loved, would be like going on a scavenger hunt to find the different parts of the island that Hemingway used as inspiration for his novels while living in Cuba. Cuba has such a great story to tell, I want this trip to be an opportunity to learn as much of this story as I can, and then try to do the story as much justice as I can.

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