As a reflection on this past semester, I am confident in saying my identity has been altered for the better. I arrived at the airport on August 24th not knowing of anyone in the program. I knew I had to come to Germany with an open and almost vulnerable mindset. This is, after all, what my journey was about. Not necessarily “finding myself”, more so finding my place in another culture, country, and environment.
I have traveled to around seven countries and I still have countries I will be checking off the list in the coming weeks (one of which will be in an entirely new continent). The exposure is an irreplaceable experience that I never saw myself in. Thus far, I believe my best education I have ever received was through traveling. Maneuvering through trams, train stations, bus stations, and airports all in multiple languages has tested my patience, confidence, and of course my sense of direction.
I have seen the most beautiful locations I will always dream to go back to, I have experienced the most memorable journeys with good people, I have stood in the most painful of war memorials, and above all, come December, I will leave pieces of my heart with the refugee children I have shared smiles and stories with the past four months.
My identity is something that I will never truly be able to express and no one will ever see. Many people I see again will not notice how I have changed and that is the beauty of my identity. It is something that I will never truly be able to express and no one will ever have the chance to see. Instead, it will only be reflected through the integrity of the way I speak, carry myself, and care for others.