Step Back for Further Beyond

Before our study trip, I used to think that altitude sickness would be the biggest challenge I would ever face during this experiential journey. However, I was proved wrong. Looking back, although most of the challenges emerged during the trip, the biggest one arose when I was still in Hong Kong, searching for evidence to support our TED talk style presentation which focuses on overtourism.

First of all, it was not easy to search for specific examples that points out the cultural problems in Tibet that come with overtourism, as many of the academic papers just give a very brief outline. Even with concrete instances found, it may not be appropriate to report that directly to the audience in our presentation due to the unique socio-economic environment of Tibet.

However, when I decided to get back to Google for more general information, almost desperate, things dramatically changed. In the end, combining the data from a UNESCO report stating similar problems in Hoi An, Viet Nam and my personal experiences in Thailand with what we knew from the discussion with students in Tibet University, I was able to contribute my part to our presentation. Perhaps it is sometimes important to step back when we are stuck in order to move further beyond.

Picture taken in Tibet University, when we were in the Q&A session for our TED talk presentation. I was answering the question regarding Tibetan Yak culture raised by a student studying in Tibet University.

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