Sunday, August 28, 2016

What This Summer Taught Me

As summer finally and unfortunately comes to a close, I can't help but think back and relive all those glorious moments from my summer. This one was by far one of the best yet, and I know that the things I did and saw will never compare to anything else. I learned a lot this summer about different things, it seems that going to new places does that to you. I opened my mind more than ever before and drank in new and wonderful cultures, even if some aspects of them were completely foreign to me. This summer brought me closer to God in all new ways and I learned that it's much better to spend money on experiences and places than on material objects. I learned to invest in spending time with people you care about because those memories will last much longer and will be much sweeter than anything else. There were times I literally couldn't believe my eyes at all the beauty around me and just had to take a moment to be alone with my thoughts and my God. I was blessed to visit so many places and meet so many people that I could never regret my time spent abroad, but only wish that I had had a little more time in some places with those people. My experience this summer taught me much more than Spanish language and culture, it taught me how to live. And once you've learned how to live you can never go back to just being content to sit in a classroom. Once you've had a taste of all that lies beyond those walls and the excitement from traveling somewhere new with people who were strangers just weeks before. You get that itch to keep traveling and seeing new places until there's nowhere on Earth you haven't seen, and nothing can compare to that moment you see a new place for the first time. I can remember touching down in London like yesterday when really it was 3 months ago. I remember waking up on the plane from London and looking out the window to see the most dazzling sunlight outside shining over the coast of Spain. I can see Granada from the bus window getting nearer and nearer. And suddenly I'm looking out the window of another plane and seeing the coast of New England as I get ready to touchdown in New York. I can never go back and relive this summer, but the memories and lessons learned will last me a lifetime along with some of the best friends I've ever known. I've been to edges of continents and ancient palaces and nothing can compare to the feeling of awe each new place gives you. No matter how much it costs or how hard it is, take the plunge and go. Go to that new, exciting place because in the end those are the memories you'll remember the most, not that pair of $160 shoes you saved for and ruined within 4 months. But that trip to Kilimanjaro or that view from the Alhambra will remain with you forever. Live for experiences, and much more importantly, experiences that bring you closer to the Lord because once you see the world you can't doubt his hand in Creation. The world is too beautiful a place for man to have made and it's meant to be seen. You're meant to see it.


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