Life Changing Lessons in Europe

This has been an amazing six weeks, packed with every emotion possible. It’s hard to comprehend this adventure and everything that has unfolded during my time living in Europe. I experienced moving to a new country, being a nanny, and plenty of amazing and hard moments. Here are some of the lessons I have learnt over the last month and a half.

Shit Happens. There were multiple times where I had gotten lost, it was late at night, my phone wasn’t working, and no one spoke English. I learnt quickly you can’t sit there in frustration, it’s all on you. I just had to suck it up and figure it out. This lead to many failed attempts in having  conversations, bus rides to no where, and random groups of Italian teenagers walking me home. You got to do, what you got to do.

Appreciate the Struggle. I spent five days a week in an area that didn’t speak English, and no one was my age. Communicating with any one from home was hard, because we were practically on different days. Some days I would choke back tears, while teaching English because of how isolated I felt. However, the clock doesn’t stop, you evaluate the feelings that you would have other wise suppressed, do what you have to do. Before you know it, it’s lunch time, you get to eat a lot of bread and you are good again.

Live in The Moment. It’s hard to do, but it’s important. I was taking a break from swimming with the kids. I was soaking up the glowing rays of the sun, and gazing at the rolling green hills and vineyards. Why did I feel tense? I was missing my family and friends. People always want what they don’t have. Heat in the winter, cold in the summer. A break when things are busy. More to do when things are slow, but that’s not life. That would be too easy to have everything at once. I now make a solid effort to be in the moment. Appreciate my busy school year and working towards being a better student and athlete, and appreciate the times where I adventure trying to dig deeper into my emotions and dive into challenges that shape character and evolve me as a person.

Love and compassion are very important. I saw the Vatican, Ancient Ruins, Cinque Terre, and many more amazing things, but the most beautiful thing I saw was all the different forms of love. The parents had their hands full with three young girls, but never let the stress seep into their relationship. They always showed affection, from holding hands to listening intently to each others stories. No matter how exhausted they were from work they always made sure the family was together for every meal. The father Palo would get up at 5:00am on the weekend to make me tea and set up breakfast for me, before I went on one of my trips. Then as I headed out the door there was 3 sizes of water for me to choose from with a sign saying “For Paige”. In Cinque Terre, multiple people stopped to give a homeless man food and water. These were little acts of kindness that made a big impact on my trip. My goal is to constantly work towards being a more compassionate individual, and it was very heart warming to see so many individuals doing the same.

 

 

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