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  • Writer's pictureSarah Miles

Welcome to Miles Guide...

With a last name like 'Miles', this seemed inevitable.

For a school project many years ago, I asked students at my boarding school what the first word was that popped into their head when they heard the word 'Jamaica'. Being foreigners, I was not surprised that the few key words that left their mouths were a tad stereotypical. From 'beaches' to 'ganja', 'Bob Marley' and 'being a fast runner', it made me realise that often my experience as a Jamaican living in a foreign country was confined by the categories that people believed solely defined my culture. However, Jamaica is so much more than that and the world is as well!

We get so bottled up in our own lives that we don't seem to second guess how we are socialised, and slowly become so comfortable in our daily routine. We conform to the roles and norms prescribed to us and become content. When we do end up going into new experiences, we barely stop to think about our thought processes but instead judge based on our preconceived assumptions and often alienate those unlike ourselves.

This year, the year that I officially will enter my twenties, I have decided to challenge myself and stop assuming, and start being as educated and socially conscious as possible. Tackle these stereotypical notions that we are taught and replace them with authentic truths learned from first hand experience. After all, nothing is more powerful than one's knowledge. 2018 is the year of embracing one another and being accepting and understanding of others. It's not hard to do; it can be done one mile away or thousands of miles away.

As I embark into this new chapter, I vow to always step out of my comfort zone and learn something new at any given opportunity, in order to get to know and understand myself and the world better. Every experience is a potential learning lesson. Plus, life is too short to not have wild stories to tell your children in 30 years at family dinners.

Here's to each mile we will take together.

Welcome to Miles Guide.


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