Twelve months ago I flew 3,397 miles away from Boston, arriving at my final destination of Madrid nervous, jet lagged, and excited for the year I had ahead of me. I spent the first seven months studying in a Spanish university, and the next five cooping for a start-up called We Are Knitters.
Trekking in Nepal’s Himalayan Mountains is no easy task. Upon arriving at Kathmandu airport in the middle of the night, a staff member from Himalayan Healthcare ushered me into a car, temporarily relieving me of my large duffle-bag and trekking pack that contained the clothes and supplies I would have with me during the next month in the mountains where I would live in a tent without running water.
I couldn’t have been more relieved to finally walk into my Cape Town apartment. After travelling for more than 24 hours, missing one of my flights, and having to settle a miscommunication with my driver whom I could barely understand, I was more than exhausted; not to mention in desperate need of a shower and food that wasn’t made on an airplane.
My flight from Chicago arrived in Beijing International Airport on January 11, 2015 as the sun was starting to set. By the time I arrived at the school in the urban-rural fringe zone in Daxing District it was already dark.
It was in that moment that I realized that despite the different languages we spoke and the short amount of time spent together, we were still able to make meaningful relationships.
Even now, months later, I often find myself wondering when I will find myself in “The Eternal City” once again.
I spent 6 months in Trujillo, Peru working at Nisolo, a company with the mission to provide long-term, sustainable, and better-paying jobs to local shoemakers.
I would estimate that I unpacked my suitcase in 17 different Spanish cities, and many of the places we visited run together in my memories.
By traveling to South Africa, it was possible to work with diverse people and wildlife in an environment that I could only dream of America.
This plaque listed the church’s sons and daughters who had perished fighting for a united Ireland. However, what to me stood out most was a single name: my own.