This trip has changed me in so many different ways, some that I cannot even put into words. But one thing I can say is that it continues to change me even though we have been home for almost a week.
One of the things that this trip has shown me is how much crap I have that I do not need. The day after I got back my room was a disaster because I had not finished moving back home before leaving plus I had everything I brought back from the trip. And so that day I went through everything and took out the things that I don’t use regularly and I plan to donate it to Goodwill. While in Tanzania I saw that the people there have very little compared to what we have here and yet they are happy, happier than most Americans. Here in the U.S., we are all different levels of hoarders, some worst than other. And so I am going to continue to narrow down what I keep because in reality I don’t need half the stuff I have and there is always some one out there who does.
Before leaving for Arica I always generally had 2 things on my mind: my weight/appearance and my lack of companions/friends. While on our trip these things hardly ever crossed my mind. After I came back it was like slipping on a glove, I immediately came back into my old worries. At first I just accepted it because I thought that they must be inevitable, but today (almost a week after we have returned), I have realized that in reality it is just more stuff that I don’t need. This time it is just mental crap instead of physical crap. And so I will be doing my best to shed my mental “things” along with my physical.
The last thing that I am going to talk about is what I do what to keep in my life. In my case absence really does make the heart grow fonder. While I was going I had very little contact with my family and boyfriend. Now that I am back I have been able to see just how lucky I am to have the people in my life that I do. I have an amazing boyfriend who loves me, and therefore I need to stop focusing on his flaws. I have parents who encourage me in everything that I do, even going on a crazy trip to Africa for a month. A brother who looks up to me and is becoming more of the person that I want to be than I am. A sister who is supports me in all that I do. And an extended family that is just about the best people you want to be surrounded by.
All in all this trip was incredible and it has changed me in ways I still don’t even understand. But I think the main lesson I have learned and what I am now striving for can be summed up in the Zac Brown Band lyric, “I have everything I need and nothing that I don’t.”