Q: How was your trip?
A: It was great.
A generic answer to a generic question, but there is so much more to my trip than that. Once people dig a little deeper and show some genuine interest in my past two months, I open up. “It was great” then turns into “Well, this one time when I was in Thailand…”, and things start to get interesting. People then start to find out about all the awesome experiences I had and all the great people I met. As I get going more and more stories pop into my mind which lead to more stories and more stories and… well you get the picture. A lot can happen in two months, and a lot did happen. New friendships were formed, old ones made stronger, life lessons learned, and stories stories, stories. Besides all of the “fun stuff”, there was also that little tiny part of the trip called education, which really wasn’t a little tiny part of the trip. It was a HUGE part of the trip. I am pleasantly surprised with how much I remember about the history, economics, politics, social structures, etc of the countries I visited. I know for a fact that unless I had experienced what I learned it would mostly be lost by now. We all know how it is. You learn something in a lecture and then a few weeks later it is gone. But with this trip it was like information was forced to stay with me before it had a chance to leave. I would learn about Thai culture and then go live with a Thai family. I would learn about the different hill tribes and their struggles and then go live with those very people for a few days. This trip has shown me the value of experiential learning and that it is a more holistic approach to learning. I learned so much academically, but I learned equally as much about myself and others. So now all that is left to say is… Europe trip here I come.