A New Chapter
Authored by: Gavin Walker-Mason
A week before I arrived in Rabat, I was sitting in my room eager for what was to come. I was filled with nerves and excitement for an experience many can only dream of. The reality had set in, and it hit me that it was really happening. For months, what seemed like a dream was actually coming true. I looked at the plane tickets in disbelief, I would soon be all alone on my way halfway around the world with nothing more than a few sets of clothes, and my willingness to delve into a new culture, language, and family. Only a few days before I arrived, I learned the names of the family that would take me in as their own, and shield me from the unknown. As I gave my biological family my last hugs and waved my goodbyes a new me had emerged. My understanding of the world, the people, and myself would blossom into something beautiful. I would soon build memories, and make life-changing bonds with an incredibly diverse group of people. The privilege of traveling with people from all over America, with the same goal, and eagerness to grow, is something I never could have experienced without CIEE. I am so grateful to have been able to travel to Rabat, Morocco, and for everyone who made it possible. Even though I will soon be leaving my new friends, family, and culture in Morocco, this is just the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I have become more knowledgeable, and understanding of new cultures, religions, and groups of people. Studying abroad gave me a new lens of the world. Regardless of your background, we all have the same drive to create a better world for those who follow. That is one thing I could never have learned without the raw uncensored understanding of what it means to be a member of a new culture.