I am a seasoned traveler when it comes to group trips. This is my third with SSU alone! What I have learned through these experiences is that traveling with others is hard. Not the kind of hard that you get over in a couple days, but the kind of hard that constantly batters you day after day. With that being said, I love it. The other day I was enjoying a cold beer in the shade provided by the looming shadow of our bus in our campground in Rome. At the same time I was listening to my favourite podcast, Mental Illness Happy Hour, and I was struck by this quote, “In a lot of ways, I think the most profound love is the love that you express towards somebody that you don’t want to love…or that it’s difficult to love. You know, the person that annoys you. To have compassion for the person that has really damaged you, to have any kind of compassion, that to me is the most potent, powerful love and can be so transformative…” — Paul Gilmartin, Mental Illness Happy Hour, episode 40. I have discovered this beautiful nugget of wisdom to be so incredibly true on this trip thus far. As we all become increasingly travel weary, we are beginning to tire of each other’s company and become frustrated by small actions and personality differences. Through this common challenge, I think that we should all strive to achieve this kind of love. I can really only speak for myself, but I intend to try to love my fellow travellers better, even if it means simply giving someone a hug when I don’t feel that I have the energy to. I want to experience the transformation that is possible through this challenging kind of love. This little man shows how I have been feeling for part of the trip, especially in regards to loving people, but I am hopeful I can find my way back! K.