When I was younger, I used to look at the walls in my families houses, lined with photographs, canvas’, books and memories of the places they had been. The remnants of their memories filled me with wonder and hope that one day I would have my own adventures and see everything this world has to offer. 

Patience has never been my virtue. I waited for my chance to spend extended time overseas and start my adventures. My impatience and eagerness to see the world brought amusement and fear to my family. My grandparents lived through WW2 in Europe and fled from place to place post-war until they came to the United States and Canada. The older I got, the more I started to realize that the memories I saw in their homes, were not all pleasant ones. In fact, many were not. Yet, they insisted that despite that, they found light, love, and strength in every place they went. They found the strength in their stories and themselves to continue on the path of love and forgiveness and it lead them across the world, right where they were meant to be. 

We are a Tolkien loving family with Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit being the first books I had ever read, and one of the quotes my family used most often being, “little by little, one travels far”. Patience is something I’m glad to have found, as I do not believe I would appreciate this chance to study abroad in Germany as much as I do, had I not been patient and learned through my experiences that have to lead me to this moment. I spent so many years of my life learning and listening to the stories of my family and hearing of the beautiful and terrible things of the world. Being 20 now, I felt that I had so many stories and adventures of my own from back home, but very few of the rest of the world. 

So here I am, going to Germany for the summer, starting off on another adventure. Part of me has been worried about being so far away, without anyone I know. I think that makes it more of an adventure. Immersing yourself in this new place and forcing yourself out of your comfort zone. All of the new things to try, places to go, people to meet. Nothing about that preparation is something I could have lived without. Packing clothes for months, unexpected things that could come up, it is HARD to pack for that. I most certainly overpacked. 

I hope to gain new skills in my German-speaking to further my studies in my minor and improve one step closer to fluency. I also hope to enjoy this new experience, culture, and country to the fullest of my ability.