This entire trip has taught me so many things that I don’t even know where to start. I am so glad my mind was open to many different things, and I learned an abundance of materials to utilize and take back home. The main thing I feel like this trip helped me develop is becoming more humble. It’s very hard in life not to have a moment to think about yourself, but when you only have a group of people to trust and look after, you began to become selfless. This experience taught me that it isn’t about me, it’s about the group. For example; though I may have been exhausted during some part of the trip, i needed to push through for my group or if someone needed something, I would give it without hesitation. This allowed me to learn how to truly put others first because we needed to take care of one another.
There were so many things that Italians do differently than Americans, such as walking everywhere or saving electricity so the lights aren’t used when we aren’t at home. I took a lot of these things for granted just because of me being close minded and privileged. This trip made me humble myself and realize my privilege. I couldn’t just hop in a car and drive down the street to a grocery store, or I couldn’t leave my computer in my room to charge when I’m not there, and I realized that it’s okay. Cars affect the environment and so does the electricity and the economy, but I never realized that in American because I didn’t care to look at the overall picture. I saw so many people without homes, so much poverty, and it broke my heart. It really made me realize that even though I may not have much, there’s always someone who has it worst, so you give. I tried my best to give to those in need because I believe if you can do it, then do it. After many times I find myself being ungrateful, I have to remind myself of my privilege.
This trip made me develop my mentality to thinking of things as an opportunity and not an obligation. When we’d go to these incredible places, walking miles, tired, and thirsty, we still got the opportunity to do this and that is rare. When you think of things as an obligation, you began to think negatively and forget the value of that thing. I was blessed to have experienced everything, and grew more humble through the experience. I got the OPPORTUNITY to go to Sienna, I got the OPPORTUNITY to see beautiful art, and I got the OPPORTUNITY to be here because people were selfless and gave to me, so my debt is to mirror that image and be selfless in the world. No one is perfect, and I am still a work in progress, but this trip definitely allowed me to diminish myself and enlarge others. What an amazing time<3