Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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The End of it All

I have been back in the states for almost two months and I am still coming to terms with my time abroad. I have come to realize that there is no real way that I can summarize what Ecuador did to me and what it was like.  Sure I can tell you about the crazy trip I had in the Amazon (and the crazy trip it took to get there), but people will only see a small part of what I did. There are no explanations I can give of the night sky in the jungle that even come close to what I was feeling at that time. I could have stayed up all day and then just watched the stars all night being bitten every two seconds by mosquitoes and not caring. To say it was incredible is coming very short of what it was like. But that is something you dear reader will have to discover and feel on your own. Because while reading stories and watching movies are fun, experiencing the moment or event yourself is something else entirely. As cliche as this sounds, you need to get out there and live life for yourself because that’s how you figure out who you are and who you want to be.  Yes, you will make mistakes, some small and some large. But you learn and grow from them. Some days will be hard and some wonderful. Some days will take a lifetime and some will go in the blink of an eye. But all and all, life really is about those special connections you make with the people you love and sharing your life with them. Yes, some people will only be in your life for a few months or just a few years.  No matter how short or long you knew or know someone, they all in their way shaped you into the person you are today.  So get out there, dance in the rain, sing when you feel like it, be there for a friend who needs a shoulder, learn to forgive others and yourself, embrace what you fear, and love all of those who come into your life even if it’s only just for a short time.

While I was suppose to go to Ecuador to learn Spanish and experience a different culture, I think that the most valuable thing I got out of that five months was learning more about myself. I learned what kind of person I want to be (still working on what I want to do with a career though) and I learned what I truly fear. While Ecuador had its ups and its downs, I am glad it happened.  Yes, mistakes were made, but important life lessons were learned. The experiences I had there made me realize what I want out of life and I think it’s one of the most liberating things to have happened to me.

And there you have it my readers, the conclusion to what I learned from my time abroad. And as I sit here in my basement back in littl’o Salemland (that thankfully didn’t flood) I come to The question.

Was it worth it?
Oh yes, yes it was.

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