Picture = 1000 Words for Katie Anderson

Concrete wall with graffiti 'Don't worry, be happy.'

At first glance, this picture might seem to be an odd choice. However for me, it holds a great deal of significance. It was one of my first pictures taken in Graz and was still towards the beginning of the trip. As I mentioned in both my pre-departure essay and post-departure reflection, I stated I was anxious about my time on the trip. At the point when this picture was taken, I was still nervous about what I would experience or what would potentially go wrong. This vandalism was placed close to where we were staying at the JUFA, and it almost seemed as though it was sign to let go of the worries I had.

Throughout the trip, the more and more I started to let go, the more I started to have fun and enjoy the trip. If I had gone through the entire time in Europe worrying or having to be in control of everything I would have gone crazy! For example, I didn’t have much control over the quality of the picture as it is slightly blurry. I had to take it while on the move which was also a theme of the entire trip.

We were always moving without much downtime, trying to get as much sightseeing, tours, and destinations in as possible. I didn’t have much control over that and looking back, I’m glad I didn’t. If I had, I’m worried may have chosen to sit in my room and talk to the friends and family I missed or nap instead of seeing the sights that I perhaps would never see again. The picture isn’t perfect and neither was the trip, but with this outlook: “Don’t worry, be happy”, it was way better than what I had expected or imagined. 

- Katie Anderson