Phase 1. Live out of hiking pack for 3 weeks.

Omar Uddin
January 10, 2020
In my seat, I am wondering why anyone would ever pay for a first-class ticket. I can’t imagine the flight being any less painful. Would my brain feel less crushed if I sat twenty feet ahead of where I am now? I find myself relatively unfazed by such trivialities though. The journey ahead, roughly three weeks of camping in Patagonia and two weeks in Montevideo, is surreal. Dali couldn’t have had more unbelievable dreams. In fact, I wasn’t even aware of Patagonia’s existence until three months ago. For me, it was only a posh logo emblazoned on pullovers and backpacks with ridiculous price tags. So how did I get here? Between listening to decades-old Japanese electronica and playing beautiful mind-numbing video games, my friend, Troy, and I discussed wanting to explore before our semester in the Emerging Economies program. Troy wanted to fish, and I wanted to hike. He told me about Patagonia, and I was sold. Around the same time, we watched the late Bourdain’s trip to Uruguay and decided Montevideo needed to be on the itinerary as well. The next few months involved extensive research, including multiple meetings and phone calls for travel advice. A few spreadsheets later, we had planned our excursion. Navigating the complexities of planning was actually a relief, providing us a sense of comfort amid the busiest semester of our business program. At first, I didn’t know why I was compelled to embark on such a trip. I soon realized though. ​“​They would not find me changed from him they knew—​/​Only more sure of all I thought was true,” writes Frost in his poem, “Into My Own.” Frost frames it eloquently, this idea of leaving all you know and love behind to live in a tent among people with whom you can hardly converse. Travel, pushing away the routine of daily life, forces you to reconsider which parts of you are you and which parts are merely a regurgitation of the culture around you. You wake up. I don’t know what I’ll experience during my travels and how it might change my perspective on things. How will it affect my time in the Emerging Economies program? I suspect it will provide a great supplementary lens for all that I will learn during the semester. I am excited for the journey ahead. I move forward knowing what I believe today I may scorn tomorrow.

Omar Uddin

<p>My name is Omar, and I am a student in the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. As a major in Business Administration, I'm primarily concerned with how business practices can be leveraged in the social impact realm. I'm hoping I will be able to use all that I have learned and all that I will learn to have a positive effect on society.</p>

Home University:
University of Michigan-Ross School
Sterling Heights, MI
Business Administration
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