Creating stories all over Europe
It would be impossible to sum up the last four amazing months in this blog post. I’ve been all over the place, from canyoning in Slovenia to cheering on the USA Women’s soccer team at an Olympic game in Scotland. I only found this passion for travel a year and a half ago when I went to Rwanda, but now it’s taken me so many places in so little time.
Right now I am finishing the Honors Program London study abroad (done with the accounting internship and now taking Global Communications, Citizenship, and Cultural Politics at LSE with Elena). However, my stipend this year went to a backpacking trip around Eastern Europe. I spent a month in at least 10 different cities/villages in Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. The purpose was to understand the tourism industry and to understand people’s motivations to travel in the first place. I learned a lot from casual conversations and more formal interviews which have led to a final, yet complicated, conclusion.
I was laying in my hostel bed in Slovenia one night, reading the book Tuesdays with Morrie, and I realized why I love traveling so much. The greatest thing about travel is that it exposes you to stories. Sometimes it’s about creating your own new stories, to boost your boring or monotonous narrative. Sometimes, it is the discovery other people’s stories and finding ways to relate to complete strangers that you never thought possible. These stories are what create a sense of self and what connect that self to the whole of humanity.
So where does this leave me? My travel bug has transformed into a whole new animal. Not everyone can travel. It’s expensive and requires flexible work and family life. But everyone should still be exposed to the life-changing stories that travel can provide. My next step is to find a way to bring those stories to people.