Now that we are entering the final week of this trip, I took a moment yesterday during dinner to reflect on all that I had experienced so far. This study abroad trip will always be a burning memory in my mind, not only because of the beautiful views and gorgeous weather but because of all the people that I have encountered so far. First, I thought about how I had never met most of the students on this trip as I am a part of a different school, and how I have loved getting to know each and every one of them through various experiences and projects. Second, I thought about the wonderful people I’ve come into contact with here in Greece.
Not all who live on Paros have been permanent residents; instead, many have come from places all over the world – Norway, Switzerland, Germany, England – the list goes on and on. Their professions range from a famous artist to a crew member on a boat. I was fascinated to hear about their incredible life histories and stories, and for them to want to hear about mine. It’s amazing to see what happens when you travel and reach out to people you are interested in and want to know more about.
Then, I thought about how many people in the world there still are to meet and interact with. This adventure will not be my final trip abroad. The experience has created a desire to travel more and make those same connections in an entirely different country. I am truly grateful that I could be a participant on this trip, and to be pushed to make the relationships I did. If it were not for the personal interview project, I would not have met Peter Seibt, who is now someone I look up to because of the life wisdom he was so kind to share with me.
I have learned to put myself out there, and create relationships with those who are around me, as well as not be afraid to reach out to those who I want to know more about. Although the trip is coming to an end, the curiosity to know more about those across the world from me has just begun.
Written by Alexandra Updike