Italy: Post Program Reflections by Kaylee R Hersch
Italy: Post Program Reflections by Kaylee R Hersch
Some of the biggest takeaways I’ve had from my traveling abroad experience, have been to who I am as a person
Some of the biggest takeaways I’ve had from my traveling abroad experience, have been to who I am as a person. Getting to meet so many different and extraordinary people has influenced myself and how I want to grow as a teacher, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a wife, and someday a mother. I got to ‘see’ more of the world and realized its vast amount of beauty which seems so large but, is quite small. The people I met shared their views on the world with me, whether it be based on religion or the hard facts of science, everyone has a truth to what they see and what they believe. In all actuality I came back with the realization of my true belief – Omnism. The term Omnism relates to the recognition and respect of ‘all’ religions.
I am Omnist.
There are so many cultures on this planet, why do we have to only pick one? In fact, there are about 7.7 billion people on this planet among all the creatures that live around us, it’s hard to believe that’s we’re the only ones in the entire universe. Don’t you think?
In that case, I have come home with a profound belief in trying to understand the world around me. I want to work on myself as a whole to where I let go of hate and most negative feelings. I say most, because ‘saying’ all of this is easier than actually doing it. Anyone who knows me, knows I have serious road rage, I stress out a bit, and I’m sensitive (I care about so much that I overthink things). I would like to be able to work on these things and more. It’s just going to take a bit of time and practice. What’s happening in the world right now is crazy! I don’t believe most of what’s going on and it’s hard not to just block it out. In fact, that is the worst thing we could do as a society. We need to fight for what we believe int. We need to fight for the rights of others and our planets security. Who knows how long we have left on this earth. Why do we spend our time fighting over such trivial things and wasting our breath on matters that are getting us nowhere?
Now this next statement I am going to make always gets me judged and criticized. I have not registered to vote yet. But, I am going to, so don’t yell at me. Ha-ha. I was waiting till I finished school and understood more about politics and what’s going on in the world. Two years ago, I was naive and chose to be blind to what was happening around me. I didn’t want to believe all the terrible things that happen. I still don’t want to believe them, but I know that they do, and I’d rather share that knowledge with others to spread awareness. Then one day, hopefully, we will live on a better planet surrounded by better people.
Going through everything that has happened in the past two months since I’ve been home, I haven’t really processed my trip abroad. It’s almost as though it was a life time ago. The past five months in total have been full of fortunes and misfortunes as well as plenty of adventure to last a while. Although, going through my trip abroad experience, I know I would really love to go on more adventures in the future. I would love to go back to London. With someone else this time, it was kind of lonely going by myself. Scotland is at the top of my list of places to see as well as Greece, Germany, and more of Southern Italy. Of course, I wouldn’t mind seeing places like Paris, Spain, and going over to India. Who knows, if I win the lottery one day, maybe I can see more of those places. First and foremost, I want a family. The overseas adventures can wait for now.
Back to my travel experience:
My advice to anyone else who would like to consider studying abroad is, make sure you have everything figured out and ready to go before you leave. It’s good to have a general plan of what you want to do while your abroad. Of course, your main focus should be your studies, but you will be in another country, try to make the most of it. Have a list of places you want to see. It worked best for me to see the closer cities on the weekends and during holiday breaks I was able to travel to further cities and stay for longer periods of time. If you need to, bring your laptop.
In Europe, the best way to travel is by train and some places take at least an hour to get to. Further cities were two or more hours, perfect time to do work on the train. Although, they say the WIFI is free, you pay like one dollar, which isn’t bad. However, the WIFI really isn’t the best and I could barely do anything with it anyway. So, if you take your laptop you can work on papers that don’t require internet or read a book.
Another tip for using trains, at least in Europe, download the apps (Trenitalia and Italo). It works best to buy train tickets on the apps because you don’t have to authorize your ticket by stamping it with a time stamp. You just pull out your app and the train attendant will scan your ticket. Also, I didn’t have the best service on the trains, so be sure to screen-shot your tickets just in case, those work as well. The apps also help when you are traveling to further cities that require you to get off one train and jump to another. You can purchase both tickets for each train and just jump from one train to the other. If you were to get printed tickets you would have to buy them at the train station you are leaving from then time stamp it. This can be a hassle if you have 10 minutes to get from one train to the other, must go buy your second ticket when you get off the first train, time stamp it then go find which platform your train is on. That gets crazy! I know, I did this method the first week I arrived with family that was with me, it was not fun. Also, if you do miss that second train there’s always another one within 30 minutes to an hour and you can catch that next train as long as it’s within 4 hours of when you purchased the ticket.
If anyone has other questions or wants advice on a specific subject for traveling abroad feel free to ask!
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I am working on my goals to be an educator in the Middleton School District of Idaho. As of right now I am substitute teaching, which is one step closer to achieving my goals of working in an esteemed school in this wonderful community. Eventually I will get the opportunity to be the art teacher here at either the middle or high school (cross-fingers). I hope to inspire the “Pay it forward” method in my students and everyone around me from here on. I would like to create a pen-pal system between my future students and those of my mentoring teacher back in Italy. We think it would be a fun opportunity for our students and ourselves to keep in touch through the arts across the world. Providing multicultural activities, insights, and friendships.