What can I say? I am much better at expressing myself with paint and charcoal than with words. This trip was everything and nothing that I had hoped for. This blog just barely scratches the surface of everything that I want to say and show about this experience. I’m sure over the next few years I’ll be adding anecdotes and thoughts on this trip. I hope to eventually replace all of the photos that are not my own with original artwork. I feel like I have made an entire group of new lifelong friends and we all share this remarkable experience. I got to see and do things that many Americans only dream about and I feel so unbelieveablt fortunate. I have always had the itch to travel, and I’ve done as much of it as I could within the borders of the U.S. and a trip to Canada once. Now that I’ve actually been across the pond I feel as though the entire world really is opened up to me and there’s no reason that I can’t go and see it all. It’s been nearly a week since returning home and I know that I’ve been transformed, just how though is still unclear. I definitely have a new appreciation for all of the creature comforts and cultural norms we take for granted in the U.S. At the same time, those comforts make me a little sad, now knowing that there is absolute validity in other countries’ view of Americans as spoiled teenagers. We really are. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but our hubris is what gets us into trouble. I feel more cultured, I feel more worldly, but in some ways I also feel so very small and ignorant. I think that having experienced something like this, where I am the outsider is humbling, and I can’t wait to be humbled again, in a different foreign land.