A Diamond in the Rough

CR 11… I cannot wait! It doesn’t get much better than backpacking through Europe for three and half weeks. There is so much to be excited about: the people, culture, museums, food, and spontaneous adventures. However, as I ponder the upcoming experience, I feel as if there is so much that I don’t even know is coming. If I have learned anything from hearing CR alumnus speak, it is to live in the moment and let the experience happen. 

Nonetheless, one thing that seems to be a clear trend among the past CRs is the meaningful relationships that blossom from the experience. I am a person that truly values deep and sincere relationships. As an extravert, I draw much joy from being around people that I care deeply about. Thus, my family, my brothers, and close friends are extremely important to me. I can’t think of a better way to create lasting friendships than spending over three weeks in Europe with a group of like-minded people. The time in Europe will eventually come to an end, but the relationships will continue on for many years to come.

For this first blog post, I was asked to write about Cinque Terre. My initial reaction to this was of all the cities, I got the one that doesn’t have a recognizable and epic history attached to it. However, as I did more research, basked in the beauty that google images had to provide, and talked to CR alum, it is clear that Cinque Terre has knowledge to provide outside of a monument or museum. The reoccurring theme while talking to CR alum about Cinque Terre was the beauty of this unique place. The colorful buildings, glistening water, and towering cliffs seem to picturize the allure of nature that is so much a part of this area. CR seems like a journey that will be jam packed with many powerful experiences that need equally as much time to reflect upon. Although Cinque Terre (at least what I know right now) may not be a place flooded with captivating history, exploring a serene town with close companions while exploring nature and being engaged in the beauty that surrounds us seems like the perfect destination.

What is especially interesting about Cinque Terre is its isolated nature. It is essentially a little paradise nestled in the rugged Italian coast line. It is hard to get to, there are practically no cars, and the walking terrain is brutal. Yet, it appears to be one of the most peaceful places on Earth. 

American society tends to equate comfort to happiness. Having accessibility, cushion, and safety is a version of the “American Dream.” Yet, in Cinque Terre, it is an isolated town that forces a very active lifestyle and doesn’t stress the importance of accessibility. This lifestyle is fundamentally different to the culture of the United States. It will be interesting to see how the level of joy of Cinque Terre compares to the U.S. with the lifestyle being so different.

I was told to finish my blog with something “scintillating.” For those of you that don’t know, as I didn’t, scintillating means excitingly clever or skillful. As I considered this daunting challenge, I thought the best way to do this is to give a glimpse of the beauty that CR 11 will be experiencing and walking through in a few short weeks, courtesy of Cinque Terre.

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