By Cassandra Pintro, FFE 2015-16
It has been 88 days exactly since I first left from New York to Florence and somehow it feels as if I have been here even longer. As the days have gone by I have met people I will never forget, heard stories that have touched my heart and seen things that took my breathe away.
When I first came I knew I’d travel but I never thought I’d be able to say in one week I could see three different countries and wake up in three different time zones. The access to the world here is remarkable, making it so hard not to take full advantage of it. In my short time here I’ve had the opportunity to visit Germany with some friends where I had the chance to visit the Dachau Concentration Camp in Munich, a day I won’t ever be able to forget. I’ve gone to Spain where I met a group of people from South Korea that told my friends and myself they would be backpacking for 3 months throughout Europe on motorcycles. We were indifferent as to whether we though it was crazy or inspiring. Even in Florence, a waiter at my favorite restaurant told me the story of him traveling throughout Europe from one euro flights to one to two hundred euros – he had quit his job to go backpack in Australia for two months by the time I went back to visit him.
During Fall break I had the chance to go to Portugal for no particular reason at all where I met a boy about my age with my friends from South Africa while shopping in Foot Locker. He had just moved there to play football, he took the time to show us all the beauties of Lisbon and it was agreed to be one of the best things we did during our time there. We started from the city center, to street performances,then a bus to see one of the oldest churches, and most landmarks dating back to 1837. All of these people in one way or another gave us inspiration while at the same time reminding us why we are here. They each reminded us to stay determined, to stay humble, help others along the way and most of all never lose focus or happiness!