September 2, 2012
I genuinely don't know how to begin writing this.
First off, my grammar is starting to get worse and worse. My English grammar, that is. And my German is getting better and better every day. I'm starting to not think about things.
First off though, my first day was a dream. Beautiful. I saw this house, with a Brasilian flag up, and soon to be an American flag too. It is in a perfect little village in a perfect little mountainside overlooking a perfect little valley in a perfect little country.Time is flying by though.
I was welcomed in the home with cheesecake, champagne, and wonderful company of friends and family. They used their best china, very old china, in fact, so much it couldn't be in the dishwasher.
Later on, more friends came over and we watched shooting stars blaze across the sky. It was incredible. I couldn't hardly count how many we saw. It was more that I had ever seen in my entire life.
The next day (Sunday) We woke up early to go to church. It was the first time I had ever been to a Catholic Church. It was a beautiful service, although I had no idea what they were saying the entire time. The church was just amazing in itself. Stained glass, tall walls, pews, communion, it was all perfect.
Later on, we went to a little lake "Sorpesee" and we rented pedalboats and just drifted around for a while. We also had a quaint picnic with these cookies that were oh so very good. Don't worry, I'll bring some home. I have made many new friends; I also have many plans with these friends. It's great.
How do you know what your limits are until you push them? How do you know what is a dream if you never accomplished one? How do you know what is an adventure if you never took part in one? How do you know what is fear if you never had to overcome one to be where you are? How do you know what is anguish if you never said goodbye to your family and friends with your eyes full of tears? How do you know what is being desperate, if you never arrived in a place alone and could not understand a word of what everyone else was saying? How do you know what is diversity if you never lived under the same roof with people from all over the world? How do you know what is tolerance, if you never had to get used to something different even if you didn't like it. How do you know what is confusion if nobody could ever explain something to you? How do you know what is an opportunity, if you never took one? How do you know what is pride, if you never experienced it for yourself at realizin g how much you have accomplished?. How do you know what is to seize the day, if you never saw the time running so fast? How do you know what is a friend, if the circumstances never showed you the true ones. How do you know what is a family, if you never had one that supported you unconditionally? How do you know what is autonomy, if you never had the chance to decide something by yourself? How do you know what it means to grow up, if you never stopped being a child to start a new course? How do you know what is to be helpless, if you never wanted to hug someone and had a computer screen to prevent you from doing it? How do you know what is distance, if you never, looking at a map, said 'I am so far away'? How do you know what is a language, if you never had to learn one to make friends? How do you know what is patriotism, if you never shouted 'I love my country' holding a flag in your hands? How do you know what is the true reality, if you never had the chance to see a lot of them to make one. How do you know what you How do you know what are borders, if you never crossed yours, to see what there was on the other side? How do you know what is imagination, if you never thought about the moment when you would go back home? How do you know the world, if you have never seen it through the eyes of a true citizen? How do you know all these things if you've never taken a chance to experience them?
January 6, 2013
We are overwhelmed with advice on where to travel to. We hear little of why we should go but how we could be more fulfilled by doing so; makes perfect sense, right? No. But it does, in our own heads. "Oh yes, that place sounds very interesting, oh yes I want to go there." meanwhile, I've only told you that the weather was nice and I saw some famous places that I can't remember the name of. But of course, the same reaction is present. "I'd like to see that, I'd like to do that..." Dazed with incredible sights that we have never seen, only in our heads, but these images beg us to visit them. Taunted with the longing for memories to be created. Wanting to be part of something bigger than the place you reside at the moment. Few people come to the two roads diverged, but when you do; when I have, take the path less traveled by. It will make all the difference. Your travels are forever in your heart. Forever t o tell stories.
Forever to be part of you.
Have you ever been to a place with mountains so high that they graze the clouds? What about a place where the peaks puncture the sky in places you can't even imagine? Oh, and a place with streams that can follow you and your adventure through the thick wooded mountainside? Or a village so traditional that the old fashioned way of life embraces you and shows you what the true meaning of life really is. A place where on Sundays everything is closed; It's a true day of rest. A place cold enough to have you wish you had more than 2 pairs of socks on. And somewhere with heartwarming smiles, and beautiful people, decorated in lavish Liederhosen and Dirndl head to toe, just waiting for you to arrive. With houses so simply extravagant it would put "Better Homes and Gardens" to shame. Language so rich; spoken with so much character; embodied by the people who speak it. This is where the real living language is. This same place is so captivating that even the scroog iest Scrooge would fall in love. Eyes filled with wonder watching, capturing each and every single breathtaking image as an individual photo for the memory book that resides in your heart. This is the place where fairy tales are based off of and practiced entirely.
This place is Bavaria, Germany.
I honestly cannot describe how much has happened in the past few months. It's been the best 5 months of my life. I am so thankful each and every day for my Rotary Club, and for the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. I don't want this year to end. I've already had to say goodbye to people who were so very close to my heart. But I know that I have a home all over the world. This has been the best experience of my life. Congratulations to the new Outbounds. You're in for the time of your life.
April 12, 2013
My life is so crazy at the moment. I hardly have time to do everything that I want to do! But, that's the way it should be, right? That's the way I like it.
I tackled the biggest club in Eastern Europe. Climbed to the top of a mountain in Budapest. Discovered Vienna once again. Fell in love with Venice, my heart will forever be there. Had my mouth water with the food of Rome. Shopped like I have never shopped before in Florence. Took a picture of me holding up the leaning tower of Pisa. Swam in the ice cold Mediterranean sea in Nice. Pretended to gamble in Monaco. Watched the huge city of Paris bustle from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Had my first Belgian Waffle, and hopefully not my last. All these experiences add up to one thing that I will never in my lifetime forget. My Eurotour.
I don't have words to describe the sights that I have been able to bless my eyes with seeing.
"Listen to the mustn'ts child. Listen to the dont's. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me...Anything can happen, child. Anything can be."
Exchange students: The most amazing people in the whole wide world. Those people from everywhere who know exactly how you feel and those people who become your absolute best friends even though you only see most of them 3 or 4 times during your year. The people, who take almost an hour to say their final goodbyes to each other. Those people with the jackets full of pins. All over the world. They are the people you want to spend all of your time with. They understand you and are always there for you.
We saw. We embraced. We lived.
But I've come to realize that memories, though beautiful things, can also be extremely saddening.
I look at all the things I've done, and seen, and I can say wow, look at all that I've accomplished, look what I've done, how amazing. I have accomplished so many of my dreams. So many things that once seemed so distant to me. Now, it's all a reality.
But at the same time, I say wow, its all over. its already happened.
I've learned you really really have to live in the moment, because one second its there, and the next its all gone. Don't ever think twice about doing something. Do it, and enjoy it. Fully.
A whisper in the wind.
When you visit a place, its like a taste of a life you can never really have.
an unobtainable expectation. then you leave to the next place.
and you realize how beautiful some places really are. not only for their physical beauty, but also for what the place has become through people and culture. you can tell a story through graffiti, see a movie on people's faces, explore a concrete jungle by asking questions in a language you have no idea how to speak.
You have to cherish the moments that you have. Savor the moment. Like a scrumptious plate of divine cheesecake, topped with a mouth watering drizzle of cherries.
Quench your thirst.
I am on top of the world.