The CReputation

Hey pals!!! I just spent three days in the beautiful town of Riomaggiore! Riomaggiore provided a blissful backdrop to allow our bodies and minds to breathe for a minute. My time here included scenic hikes, home cooked Italian meals, reading the Bible on the rocks by the sea, cones of seafood, boat rides with great people, eight cones of gelato (yes, all in the span of 3 days… I’m not ashamed), and beautiful moments that I cannot properly encapsulated into a short blog. Along with this dreamy itinerary, Riomaggiore also caused me to think about the reputation of Cultural Routes, and how CR11 is reflecting that.

While in Riomaggiore, CR11 had the incredible opportunity to eat a home cooked Italian meal prepared for us by the sweetest couple, Daniella and Pierro. They graciously opened up a home with an ocean view for us to bond as a group over fine food; it was straight out of a dream. While talking with Daniella, she gave her biggest pieces of advice for people our age:

1. Follow your dreams

Daniella said that kids these days tend to be confined to a bubble. We become comfortable with where we are at in our lives and tend to avoid anything that scares us, even if that thing is our deepest desires. We need to not be so scared to take a risk and see the growth that can come from reaching for the things we want.

2. Be kind

Every generation needs to be kind to others. Kindness should not be conditional, and should extend to everyone that we meet.

3. Be tolerant

Exemplifying tolerance is working to understand those around you and accepting them despite any differences that you may have. If our generation worked to master tolerance for others we could band together to tackle larger goals side by side.

There is no way Danella could have known this, but the advise that she gave are a few of the integral character qualities that I see in CR alumni. The reason that I applied for CR was because I witnessed all of these incredible people that were fearlessly following their dreams while exemplifying kindness and tolerance to everyone they met along the way. When I found out that all of these people had gone on this thing called “Cultural Routes”, I knew it was an experience that I couldn’t miss out on. The reputation that they had created was impressive to say the least, and I wanted to be a part of it.

Now I am lucky enough to say that I am heading towards Florence with the rest of CR11. It’s our turn to take the advise that Daniella gave us and turn it into our life mottos. Of course we will stumble along the way, but we have each other to keep us accountable. CR11, traveling Europe with you is a joy, but learning with from is such an honor. I could not be prouder to be a part of the reputation of CR and how CR11 is continuing the legacy.

All my love,

Cooper

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