Monday, 10 December 2012

The world is a book... and what a chapter this has been!

By: Gloria Atanmo

It’s been said before that the world is like a book; and those who don’t travel, only read one page. These words couldn’t hold more truth than today. As I prepare for my final day in Europe, the mixed emotions, the maxed credit cards, and the life lessons learned simply can’t be replaced with any other experience, than what I gained with studying abroad through Harlaxton College.

Life is truly what you make of it. Every experience. Every adverse situation. Every opportunity. Every person who has studied abroad at Harlaxton in the last 40+ years has experienced their own unique “Aha!” moment. That moment when you realize that waking up in a castle every morning is nothing short of a fairy tale. That moment when you’ve visited a monument in a country you thought, as a kid, only existed in movies. That moment when you made a new friend that you knew right away would last a life-time. And of course, that moment when you check your bank account after a long weekend getaway. Those moments sum up the memories, and those memories sum up your study abroad experience.

In Rome, Italy at the Piazza di Spagna!
After an amazing last excursion through Italy, I can honestly say I’m leaving Harlaxton with no regrets. I’ve done more living in the last 3 months than I have my entire 22 years of life. I’ve made so many connections, I’ve ventured to so many different cities, and I’ve tried so many different foods. Not a single day went by that I didn’t think about how lucky I am. Lucky, fortunate, and undeniably blessed.

To say I’ve traveled in places like London, Scotland, Ireland, Paris, and Rome completely on my own, is something I am truly proud of. I used to worry about going to the other side of Kansas City on my own, and now, I'm visiting foreign countries left and right, where the dialect, currency, and atmosphere is the furthest thing from familiarity, yet I have the time of my life! But beyond the initial scare and paranoia, I’ve done so much mental and internal growth because of it. I’ve discovered a new side of me that either didn’t exist, or has been in a 22-year labor awaiting its birth.

The world is a book, and every chapter holds a new adventure.

The People.
The Foods.
The Languages.
The Currency.
The Postlogue: Getting nearly banned from re-entering a country.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

I know I don’t speak for myself when I say, it moves me to the point of tears when I think about how abruptly this has come to an end. My words merely suffice and the pictures only do half the justice. This beautiful world is a book I could read over and over and never get tired of. And I’ve experienced so many chapters throughout this journey that I’m not even mad I have to close the book, because now, I’m writing my own sequel. Life goes on, and so can these experiences if we let them inspire us in the right ways. Inspire the change, the happiness, and the love we, as global citizens, need to pass on to others.

Thanks for being a part of this life-changing journey.


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