Every time I think back to the (almost) month that we spent in Europe, I am at a loss for words. Sometimes, I can’t believe that CR happened. It was truly the most incredible experience of my life. How do I begin to wrap up what has truly changed me as a person.
Starting at the beginning is always a good idea. Before we set foot in Europe we all wrote goals for ourselves, and looking back at these, I know that I worked every day to accomplish them.
Comfort in the Uncomfortable. I certainly got used to doing things that were new to me during this experience. From taking an international plane trip by myself to eating dinner in total darkness to paragliding in Switzerland, there were many times during this adventure that I felt a little uncomfortable (okay, more than a little). Those experiences are the easiest places for me to see where I grew, however. I have never been one to face my fears head on, and I still don’t think I would ever run straight towards something that frightens me, but after spending almost an entire month outside of my comfort zone, I know that I can thrive in situations where I don’t necessarily know what I am doing. Being pushed by both the experiences that I had and the people around me taught me that sometimes a little nudge into the unknown can be a good thing. This is the place where we truly discover ourselves; when our entire world is turned upside down, our identity shines through and we are more ourselves than ever.
I may not run into my fears head first but I am certainly more likely to be confident while facing them. I have CR to thank for this comfort.
Expanding My Horizons. This was a two fold goal. I wanted to expand myself and my connections with others. I honestly believe I was able to achieve both of these prospects.
For the first time in my life, after spending a month jumping out of my comfort zone, I felt truly brave. This is a word that I would never have used to describe myself before this experience; to be truthful, I am still a little hesitant to use this word. However, it’s a trait that I want to continue to explore in myself. I am excited to discover what else I do not know about my personality.
Most importantly, the people have had an incredible impact on me as an individual. Every person on this experience was unique and wonderful in their own ways. I am so lucky to have gotten to know all of you. I feel truly blessed to have each one of you in my life. Thank you for being the best people to explore the world with.
To Bea: Thank you for teaching us how to speak our minds and stand up for what we believe in. I admire your strength and passion.
To Brent: Thank you for being there to ask the right questions. You challenge all of us to see world views that are different from our own, which is a skill that we all must understand.
To Chloe: Thank you for being incredibly intentional. We can all learn from your thoughtfulness. You understand that words matter and you use them wisely, which I admire greatly.
To Claire: Thank you for being such a fun-loving and energetic presence. Your ability to be all in and to find a way to make any situation unique astounds me.
To Conner: Thank you for always being willing to share your knowledge. You are truly one of the most intelligent people I have ever met.
To Cooper: Thank you for finding a bright spot in the darkness. You are an incredibly positive person, a trait which I greatly admire. You showed me how to find joy in the smallest things.
To Emma: Thank you for showing me what determination really is. Not only are you incredibly funny, but your ability to inspire other people to action is remarkable.
To Gabby: Thank you for being a true friend throughout this experience. Your kindness and quirky personality were incredible to experience.
To Griffin: Thank you for always being able to provide a unique perspective on the world and our experiences. Your perspectives shines through and provides the rest of us with beautiful memories that are captured forever.
To Harris: Thank you for being a constant friend who can bring the group together. Your kind heart can truly be seen in the way you care for others.
To Kevin: Thank you for always being open to getting to know someone new. You make deep conversations interesting and are a wonderful person to talk to.
To Kynnedi: You are an incredible people-person. Thank you for being there to get to know each and every one of us. The ability to make someone feel heard is truly a special gift.
To Lauren: Thank you for having one of the kindest hearts in the world. You are a light to all those around you. Your hugs make anyone feel better and you are a true friend to all you meet.
To Madelyn: Your passion for learning is truly remarkable. Thank you for instilling all of us with an excitement for all of the new information we could take in. Also, thank you for providing us with so much beauty on this journey (you truly have an incredible voice).
To Peter: Thank you for being a wonderful friend. Not only can everyone see what an extraordinary leader you are, but your willingness to include others is remarkable. You were always there to make us feel welcome and excited.
To Sarah: Thank you for all the wonderful laughter. You are incredibly funny and a wonderful person to be around. This ability to make people happy is a gift.
To Dr. P: Thank you for everything. Thank you for the countless hours of selfless work you put into making CR incredible. Thank you for pushing us to be better and for the guidance along the way. Thank you for taking the time to know us, a gift that is truly special to each individual who has dived into this experience. Finally, thank you for the familia you have created for all of us.
I look forward to many more years of incredible experiences, laughter, and growth with the people I now get to call my familia.
That’s all for this adventure. Thank you for joining along with my journey.