Five weeks ago I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. I craned my neck to gazed out of an airplane window from the isle seat trying to catch a glimpse of what awaited below once I touched down in Belfast, Ireland. Soon enough, I would meet the twenty strangers that I would travel a foreign land with. At first, they were just names on a page, who I thoroughly stalked. Five weeks later, they are my family. After being stuck on a bus, tucked away in hostels, crammed in to the Tube and tossed in to a flat, I became extremely close with these people. I could tell you all about Mia’s alter egos, Emily and Darrian’s love life, Reagan’s favorite foods (tomatoes, onions and potatoes) and even what musicals Katie preformed in during her high school glory days. I am so grateful for all of the knowledge I have acquired from the many countries I have visited, the culture that surrounded me and the first hand experience of the career I hope to pursue. All of that knowledge will greatly enhance my life in many aspects, but what I really got out of this trip was a family of misfits that I love and cherish. Without this amazing trip, I would not have met these twenty beautiful people. I wonder if I had ever crossed paths with them at Brody Cafeteria, sat next to them in a class or bumped in to them in the crowded Com Arts Spartys. How could I possibly have gone on with my life not having the opportunity to know them? Five weeks ago, I could not have foreseen how the trip would pan out, but I guarantee I did not think it would end up like this. F strangers, to classmates to friends, to family. It has been an incredible honor to have gone on this journey with each and every one of them.
On our last night together, it was only right that we played one final game of “High and Low”. Over the past weeks, we often played a game where we all share the highest and lowest points of our days. As we started to play, I began to notice that the lows weren’t actually all that bad. Every time someone mentioned a low point of their trip, the group always managed to turn it around and find a positive. It was often the case that someone’s low was someone else’s high, such as Marissa’s low being her many tumbles and how that just so happened to be a high point for just about every single person in the group. Or Mia’s low when her hangry alter ego “Meana” came out when we couldn’t find a McDonalds. We all broke out in laughter and remember that moment as a high point. All of the moments and memories from this trip will always be seen as a high point and will stay that way for a lifetime.