It has officially been a week since we arrived back in Minnesota from our adventures abroad. Readjusting back to life and trying to find a new "normal" routine has been more challenging than I expected. It has been really strange not having a set plan each day and being apart from the people I spent pretty much every hour of the day with for 3 weeks.
Another challenge that I have been facing is trying to share what I experienced with my friends and family. On the one hand, I love telling them about all the amazing things we did and the people we met. On the other hand, I'm wanting them to feel and understand all of the same emotions and insights that I encountered on the trip. I have slowly been coming to accept that this just isn't possible. As much as I want them to, the people I share my stories with will never have the experience of being on this trip. That is why I am thankful that there are 15 other people who did share in the same things I did. Even though our individual experiences were each unique, it's comforting to know that there are people I can turn to who went through the same things that I did. I'm very grateful for the group that we had and how kind and open everybody was.
Looking back, I am so thankful for everything and everyone who made this trip the incredible experience that it was. I learned so much from the people we met on this trip, both on an academic level and a personal level. They have challenged me to change the way I look life and what it means to have strength, forgive and love others.
I want to say a big thank you to Professor Embser-Herbert, Caroline Hilk, Yvan and the many other people who made this trip possible! It truly was the trip of a lifetime and I will never forget it!