Once in a life time - My Family Travels


     My name is Ashley Truesdale. I am currently a senior at Muscatine High School. Right now I am starting my fourth year of German class. At school I am an active member in our German club. I have been to German camp, and this summer I was lucky enough to travel to Germany and study abroad.   
     This trip really meant a lot to me. The main reason this trip meant so much to me is because I really got to know myself and know what I am capable of doing. Also I feel as if it took me to another point in my life because I was away from my family and I had to learn to live on my own, which I will need to get use to doing in the near future. Some of the ways I got to know myself was by self evaluation. There were days I would just sit in my room and really look at who I was and who I wanted to be. Then I would think about how i could change for the better and then tried living by it. I feel that it took me to another point in my life because I got a taste of what it would be like to live on my own and to be away from my family for a while; it really helped me grow as a person. I got to see that I really could make it on my own, which was really reassuring to me.
     There were things on this trip that worked, and then some things that did not work out so well. One of the things that worked out really well was how everything was set up. Me and the other kids that went on this trip got time to really bond and become better friends and we tended to feed off of each other and learned from one another. The thing that I really love about this was that there were hardly any problems between us, making the trip that much more enjoyable.
     Of course I learned a lot from this trip. I learned how our two cultures really differed from each other. I got to see how people in different countries viewed Americans and our culture. Some of the things I found out were pretty shocking. I never realized how much Americans blew things out of proportion. Such as nudity for example, in Germany everyone was accepting of the human body and revealed it like it was nothing, as opposed to Americans, who usually do not accept these things that well. Also I got to see first hand how Germans view their history, and how far they have come to look past what has happened only a short time ago.
     So all in all this trip was a major life event for me and a real eye opener. It taught me independence, self acceptance, friendship, and different culture customs or culture shock. I defiantly would do this trip again in a heart beat. I know that this trip has made me a better, stronger person and I will carry these memories for the rest of my life.

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