I have surrendered my travel rags in for the comforting sun of Georgia skies. I sit comfortably drinking my Starbucks coffee and listening to my online music playlist. These are the things my companions and I dreamed of while traveling. Instead of trudging through the buses interior to make a cup of tea, I patiently walk into my kitchen, boil some water and plop a peppermint teabag in. [Relaxation].
While sleeping on Europe’s earthy soil I experienced the gravitating pull of lost stories; stories hidden under the rubble of our ancestors. Mothers, fathers, daughters and lovers through their inspiration I have found myself connecting with this land in unspeakable ways. Standing on the shoreline of the Northern Sea, walking in tunnels built for Canadian soldiers before they plummeted Vimy Ridge, wandering through the labryinth of streets in Venice. Each country, each city, every street tells a different story. I have glimpsed the love and hatred that plagues Europe, both past and present.
No longer do these stories live in textbooks. These characters are real, Sophie Scholl, Jan Palach, Martin Luther, Donatello, and Van Gogh are all people who lived and breathed in the same places where I stood. Europe is a tangible place, it is the place of my ancestors and it holds an important piece of my history. No matter where I go these places have inspired me to crave excellence. The world is a place where one can constantly feel that they are swimming upstream, but one thought, one inspired word can create a ripple in the stream of society. If I have learned anything on this trip it is that humanity is sacred and we must live and fight for it with each breath.