The first day in Berlin we were walking from the train station to our hostel and while dragging my luggage through the subway, one of the wheels broke. Still, with three out of four wheels, I made it work as we continued walking down the streets of Berlin. It was as we were rolling over some cobblestone sidewalks that I felt my bag collapse and realized that yet another wheel broke off of my luggage. I was now down two out of four wheels and could no longer drag my 19 kg of luggage. I was not really sure what to do, I was tempted to just chuck my luggage in the river. But I was lucky enough to have Matt, a participant on this trip that I had just met the previous day. He handed his luggage to me to roll the rest of the way and he threw my luggage over his shoulders and walked to the hostel like that. I could not thank him enough and from day one I knew that this group of people were a wonderful group (Between Dan and Matt, they continued to carry my luggage the rest of the trip. Those guys are amazing!).
Our coordinators planned incredible activities for the trip; they kept us busy, active and educated. But I learned so much more on this trip that went beyond the museums and tours and schools. I learned about people, their lives, their desires, what they love and what they hate. I got to know each person’s personality and created connections on this trip.
In my first post I talked about how I was ready to step out of my comfort zone and experience something brand new. What I did not know before the trip was that my comfort zone went beyond just my place of being. My comfort zone also included the foods I ate, the drinks I drank, the activities I took part in and my interactions with people. On this trip, I was able to get out of my comfort zone and meet, talk and interact with people I barely knew. What resulted from this was a lot of laughs, a lot of great memories and new friendships.
So, what I learned as a future educator is immense. I learned about their schools, their students, and the teachers. I went to a Waldorf and was blown away by how unbelievable and marvelous that school was. But what I learned on this trip went beyond all of that and that is why I wanted to dedicate this last blog to the wonderful people I met on this trip. As a future teacher, I believe it is important to foster friendships, help students grow and learn beyond their textbooks. On this trip, I did just that. Not only did I foster friendships with the American participants, but my connection with the German participants also blossomed. The time and the distance does not matter, because the friends I have in my life stretch across the ocean and it is absolutely amazing!
Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible and made it an experience of a lifetime.