By: Gabe Thornton
That question, along with similar variations, will be the first thing out of many faces we will encounter upon returning home. A simple question, yet the answer isn’t so. How can one be expected to answer such a question without spending the next 3-4 hours connecting thoughts, photos, and random tangents of stories into one coherent explanation of how said trip was? It’s a sacrifice of such an experience that we have to make. We will have to live with the fact that not only can we not explain every single thing to those who want to hear it but that not everyone who asks wants to know. Instead we must decide who at home is genuinely interested and who, as our instructor informed us, will hear the “elevator speech”. There just isn’t enough time to tell our whole story to all those who we want to tell it to. In time however tidbits of our journey will surface and relate to our lives down the road. The knowledge and experience will contribute to our identities without coming across pompous or dull to those we interact with. After all we went on this trip to grow ourselves, not to show off to others. It’s fun to post a photo here and there or tell a friend about that ridiculous swing your friends convinced you would be fun to try, but in the end the deeper and unique meaning to one’s experience might be something that goes unspoken. So you might find you can’t answer this question outright but if you let the lessons you learn show through your actions, then those around you will know how your trip was.