I have the greatest pleasure to meet and get to know a wide range of international students at the local college. Many of these kids have become life long friends and I hear from them on a regular basis – and get to both visit them in their home countries and host them when they return here. Indeed few thoughts make me happier than those of the time I have spent with amazing young people from all around the globe. It humbles and elates me. It makes me grateful. I love anything that can remind me to be grateful. These young people always do.
A truth about international students in this country. They love it here. They want to travel it, to experience it, to take home with them some feeling of having tried (at least) to see it all. From this tiny town on the East Coast, they head out to Alaska, to California, to Louisiana, to Colorado – so many of them have seen more of this country than the native born locals that it is startling.
And they know me. They know my connection to Seattle, to coffee and hence, to Starbucks. It is a source of endless delight on both sides when they return from some trip with a Starbuck’s mug for me – each goes on a beam in the kitchen – and the beams are filling. To be fair, I started this…when I travel I typically look for a Starbucks and buy myself a mug (or am deeply disappointed because the store doesn’t have one) but the internationals have taken the whole thing up a notch – ok, several notches. Now I have to travel to catch up with my collection, not travel to expand it.
Sure, I’m a collector. But few collections of any kind come with more sweet, earnest, hilarious, and fond memories. And none is more treasured.