As I sit here writing this blog post, I find myself reminiscing the semester that I have just spent so far from everything I know. I can’t help but still think that I am in a dream and I just need to be pinched to be woken up. This dream that I can’t seem to completely grasp my mind around, has been one of the best ones I’ve ever had.
I have reached a point where I can say that “I did it!” I have spent a whole semester away from my friends, my family, and pretty much my entire comfort zone. I have gotten to the point where I don’t feel the desire or excitement to go home, which has been such a crazy feeling. I have experienced so much home sickness at the beginning of the semester that I didn’t know if I was going to make it to this point. Sticking the semester out has taught me so much about myself, and about my abilities as a person.
This has been such an eye-opening experience, and the memories I have scattered all over Southern Africa will forever remain in my mind. I will never forget seeing an elephant for the first time or stepping my feet into the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. I will never forget my first time riding in a combi, or the first time passing through the “Gates of Paradise” in the beautiful Kingdom of Lesotho. I have many pictures of places I have traveled to, and many of the chances I have gotten to experience something that I never would have in the states. Chances like a mokoro ride through the Okavango Delta, or watching a lion hunt a buffalo in Chobe. These memories will forever stand in my mind and on the pages of my passport.
Following my experience is advice. If you have ever thought to travel, what is holding you back? Take that leap and experience the world. I know it is cliché to say to go out and experience the world because it is such a great place and it has so much to offer, but that is exactly what I recommend. Leave knowing that when you go, you will come back a changed person, one who can see the world from a perspective that is different from their own home. You will do and experience things that will never be taken away from you or your memories.
As I start to pack to go home, I am realizing that I am taking more than just souvenirs and gifts for people. I am taking home some much more than I left with. I am taking home the strength I have learned about myself. I am bringing home peace, awareness, gratitude and authenticity. I have received more gifts from this time abroad than I ever thought I could receive. I thank everyone who took place in getting me to where I am today, you all played a pivotal role and deserve great credit.