Today was our final day in Greece, and needless to say, we are all so sad to go. We had our final class at 7:30 AM to allow many of us to catch afternoon flights, and our final session was filled with sharing the great memories we’ve gained from this trip. I will never forget my time spent in Athens, and I believe that this trip has taught myself and others important life lessons in personal responsibility, confidence, and cultural understanding.
When I arrived in Athens three short weeks ago, I was conflicted by my desire to see new parts of the world and my desire to remain in my comfort zone. To force myself out of my comfort zone, I decided to try something new everyday. From flying without my family on day one to cliff jumping on day twenty, I can gladly say that the world outside my bubble is full of laughter, adventure, and memories that I’ll never forget. This realization makes going back to Indiana that much harder, as Lake Monroe has a hard time stacking up against the beauty of the Greek islands. But if I am to take one thing back to the States with me, it’s the newfound knowledge of what adventure feels like, something I can enjoy no matter where I am in the world.
The rest of today was pretty uneventful, as most of my day was spent on an airplane. There was something saddening about lifting off over the deep blue water of Greece, and it was more than just leaving the beautiful city behind. It was the sad realization that I am no longer in the Civic Leaders Center. This trip was our last hurrah as the CLC Class of 2020, and I firmly believe that I got closer to every Civic Leader who went on this trip. After a long day of flights and layovers, I was so happy to see my parents waiting for me at O’Hare Airport. While in Greece, I tried to imagine how Indiana could ever match Greece, and I couldn’t find an answer. But when I got to hug my mom after three weeks of only seeing her via FaceTime, I was reminded that home is truly where the heart is. Greece will always hold a place in my heart, but to quote Dorothy Gale, “There’s no place like home!”.