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2011

…what just happened..

By 2011, Europe No Comments

Over the course of three months I have been in 15 countries. As much as I love Canada I never quite expected to miss it or any other place for that matter. I have to say, towards the end all I wanted was to go back to Tim Hortons, Hockey, and my own bed. Once I got to Finland I couldn’t handle another language, another culture, and another expense. This got me thinking about what it means to break away from a worldview. For the life of me, I have been wanting so much to separate myself from that, and…

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Banderas y mi origen verdad

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I’ve been back in North America for almost a month now. From busing across Europe, to the flight to Toronto, to my train ride home to Ottawa, and my flight back out to North Dakota, I’ve had quite the whirlwind adventure. Through the hustle and bustle of constantly moving from place to place, I have adopted a mentality I have never before found myself able to grasp. I’m not a patriotic person. In fact, as a dual citizen, the concept of being patriotic becomes both more diluted and more complex. Which country do I identify more with? What is identity…

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Time is of the essence

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“Time is of the essence”: this old legal phrase has somehow passed into our common speech to mean that time is important, and that we must make the most of it. Yet it still carries its original sense of hastening to fulfill some requirement as well. Time was of the essence in Europe. We moved from one place to another within days – each place containing experiences and treasures that could only happen there – at that time. Our ordinary every-day time was funneled onto the fast moving train of ever present activity. That is what it seemed like at…

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Let it soak into your skin, further up and further in.

By 2011, Europe No Comments

In Europe, I encountered many different places that spoke to me and resonated with me. I felt often as though I was fulfilling some kind of sacred rite of passage. Now, back home, I have begun to crave the places of worship. Shouting their grandeur at tourists, while at the same time seeming to be quietly announcing their holiness. They are often described as thin places, places in which the fabric that persistently separates the physical world we inhabit from the spiritual realm that exists in parallel to our own. In these places, that fabric seems to have been worn…

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kind of like buttons.

By 2011, Europe No Comments

I don’t think I am an emotional mess; I’d like to call myself ’empathetically emotionally aware’. Confession: I have cried almost every single day since returning home from Europe. I cry in beauty. Watching my brother coach his son’s soccer team. When I heard about a ‘young Mother’s’ meeting at our Church continuing to meet together long after the formal meetings ended. Reading about a coastal town in Italy that has been setting a trend of welcoming refugees in with open arms. Every time I put on the Les Miserables album. I cry in anguish. Listening to a friend talking…

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Looking back and stepping forward

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I started writing this blog entry over a week ago. At the time I was writing about how hard it is to have all of my memories and experiences from the trip bottled up with no real outlet to share them. But I have decided to scrap that and just share one of these memories instead of complaining about how I can’t. I had almost forgotten about our visit to the Pantheon. So many things had happened almost every day on our European tour, our days in Rome were no different. We saw the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican,…

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The Best Text Book

By 2011, Europe No Comments

It was an incredible experience to travel and learn this way over the last two months. Yes it had its challenges and unpleasant moments/days, but looking back at the big picture, it was amazing. I have learned so much academically, as well as personally. Most days I was so excited to learn more, (although I didn’t intentionally think of it as learning), to face the day and whatever it may bring. It was usually a new city, a new historical site or a new museum filled with magnificent pieces of art. It was challenging at times to do this alongside…

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One Well Rounded Individual Please

By 2011, Europe No Comments

Since returning home I have tried to devote at least a little bit of time each day, or each week towards processing my trip.  There is so much that happened, so much that I did, and so much that I learned that it is no small task to look back on it all.  During one of these processing times I was reflecting on the wide range of interests that people who were on this trip had.  I was thinking back on how so many people were passionate about at least one thing that they had encountered on the trip.  These…

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owners of the temporary

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After two months of moving every four days, adjusting to familiar surroundings at home is both nice and different. The trip was eight weeks of constant motion and it was necessary to learn how to make the temporary ordinary. One way I adjusted to travelling was to form personal rhythms. Some people allotted an activity they did each morning before breakfast while other people had a bus routine. Everyone’s routine was shaped by their personality and interests. I chose to write in my personal journal often to clarify my thoughts. We creatures of rhythm naturally etched ourselves into some sort of familiarity…

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Life after…

By 2011, Europe No Comments

As some of the others have pointed out, we’re back in the scramble of normal life. What is the Europe trip experience to me now? I returned home eagerly looking forward to the simplicity of sleeping in a bed, having eggs for breakfast, not having to walk a half mile to the nearest washroom or live out of a backpack. Those trifles have vanished now as I suddenly am missing my travel companions, the camaraderie, the teamwork and just living a crazy life for two months with 30 amazing people. I won’t forget singing the doxology in the Pantheon, climbing…

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