Fourteen days down, six more to go, not including travel days. These last fourteen days have been exhaustingly slow, yet I can’t help but feel like the month has gone by so quickly. It has been full of exciting new ideas and just being in the present moment is energizing, knowing that you are in a brand new place with so much you have yet to experience! As a first-time traveler, there have been a few things that have made their way up to become highlights for me.
The first highlight is the general culture of the countries, specifically the language and the food. There is something really special about hearing a language you don’t understand at all but you are still able to appreciate its compelling sound. The way the languages roll off the tongue is a brilliant thing that I’d love to hear more often! The food differences are subtle but noticeable, like what they eat for meals. Breakfast, for example, is not a lot of cereal, waffles, pancakes, etc., like it is in the US. They certainly have those foods, but breakfasts usually consist of bread with some meat, cheese, and whatever else you want on it. It is not strange, but just a bit different.
The second highlight was learning about the history of the countries. Before coming on the trip, I could not tell you one thing about the history of Denmark, Sweden, or Norway. But after visiting a few museums, I could tell you a little bit more about wars that have taken place and even certain ethnic groups that live here. I can’t tell you I would have ever known about those things without visiting those museums!
Last, but certainly not least, are the ideas that we have been exposed to on this trip. The main theme we seem to come across is the idea of investing in and caring for the people. Policies, organizations, and schools are set up for the goal of helping the citizens rather than being successful and making a profit. So often, many people have this dream of becoming rich and famous and living a luxurious lifestyle while the steps to becoming rich and famous are not there or are possibly on the backs of others. This trip has shown me so many ways in which people are working to better the lives of others, and it is truly inspiring to see these projects in action.
Like I said before, this trip has been exhausting. I’ve loved learning these new ideas and experiencing this new world, but I’ve definitely needed the time to slow down and absorb everything that has just been thrown at me. Without feeling as tired as I got, though, I don’t think I could say that I had a full experience. If I wanted to prevent myself from getting exhausted I wouldn’t have experienced some of the cool places and the wonderful conversations I’ve had. I wouldn’t have exposed myself to a new culture and a new world of possibilities.
So my advice to everyone who has not traveled before is this: Exhaust yourself.
Don’t exhaust yourself to the point where you get sick, but exhaust yourself to where you know that you have fully lived in this new world you are a part of. You get back from the experience what you put into it, so make sure that you are happy and fulfilled when you are done. You may not always get to go through an experience quite like it again so make sure you give your all. I give you my word that you won’t regret it.
Six days left, not including travel days.
Let the adventures begin.