102 days until Berlin!!

Here it is – my very first post on the CR9 blog!! I truly can’t believe this is all real and happening so quickly. I feel so honored to be starting this journey!

My introduction to CR was an interesting one. A few summers ago, I started seeing John Michael Neubert post really awesome pictures from Europe on his social media. He had just finished his freshman year at TCU, and he was studying abroad on CR7. TCU was nowhere on my college radar at the time, but I remember thinking, “I want to do something like that when I’m in college.”

Fast forward to spring of my senior year – I was coming to TCU! I vaguely remembered JM’s pictures, and I went back to see how exactly he had gotten to have such a cool experience. I made a mental note to keep CR on my radar… and now here I am. So thank you, JM, for your part in getting me here!

Looking ahead, I would have to say that I’m most excited for our time in Germany because I have always been so fascinated by World War II. I recognize the fact that I’ve always learned about history from an American point of view; I’m interested to see how the same issues and events are presented from another country’s point of view, especially the country that was the “bad guy” of WWII. I can’t wait to dive into the rich history there and to experience first-hand the things I’ve learned about in textbooks for years. I have to be honest and say that I really have no idea what to expect from the people of Germany, but I am thrilled to walk their streets and learn from them.

I expect CR to challenge me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’ve been told that we will walk something like 250 miles, which blows my mind. This will be the longest travel experience I’ve ever had, so I’m sure the exhaustion will set in at some point. I expect to be pulled out of my comfort zone mentally; I will be seeing the world from new points of view and taking interest in things that I probably wouldn’t put much thought towards otherwise, like Renaissance art. I expect CR9 to challenge me emotionally. History isn’t all sunshine and friendship; there have been some very dark and mournful times in our global history. I don’t expect these things to be taken lightly or easily.

Some of these challenges we will face make me nervous, but I have no doubt that the rewards will be so much greater than the challenges.

My greatest emotion towards starting this CR9 journey is excitement. I cannot wait. I can’t wait to see the beauty, history, and culture of each individual city, to eat amazing food, and to learn the hearts and minds of the people taking this journey alongside me. I can’t wait to see how this trip will shape me into a better person.

Here’s to the adventure ahead!