All Posts By

Emily Smith

A Break from My Comfortable Reality

By | 2017, Europe | No Comments

At the beginning of our trip, we discussed the idea of liminal space, and how we would be taking a break from our comfortable reality. In travelling, we are suspending ourselves from our everyday experiences, to instead, learn in an experiential way. We have been given the opportunity to experience things that wouldn’t be as easily understood, if it had been taught in a classroom. This style of learning is what makes the knowledge gained more meaningful, tangible, and unique. Considering all of the sites and cities we’ve visitedand everything that we’ve learned and experienced, we’ve come to understand that breaking from our reality iboth substantial and valuable. 

Memorable is the time we rode the crowded London underground, to visit the British Museum. Where we viewed the unimaginably vast collection of ancient artifacts and paintings, that helped me establish a better appreciation for history interacting through art. Travelling through the outskirts of Barcelonawe visited Montserrat where my close friend and I had the chance to climb the serrated mountainside. In this experience, I gained a clearer appreciation for life. Something often obtained in good company, with a breathtaking view of natures grandeur. 

After this, we traveled to Rome, where we walked through the historic site of the Roman Forum. Surrounded by the ruins of ancient architecture, in a city that is so modern, reminds me how far humanity has come, without being able to forget how much further we still have to goIn Perugiaentering the remains of the city’s historic castle, we learned about its captivating history. Having been preserved and embracedthis history now shapes its future generations.

It wasn’t until I was walking through Mauthausen Concentration Camp Memorial in Vienna, that I had looked down at my feet, and realized the places I’ve been over the last six weeks. Experiential learning gave us this opportunity to be so immersed within culture and history, and it will continue to change our intentionality about the way we live our lives. Having travelled  outside the comfort of my previous reality, I discovered that what I’ve learned has expanded my worldview so much, that when I return back home, my reality will be different.


Me standing on the cobblestone of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp Memorial.