Mon Sep 04 2017
The summer of 2016, I went on the Coast to Coast trip to the US with STS. It became the most memorable trip of my life, and I am going to try to tell you why.
I wanted to travel, experience a new culture, meet new people and explore new places. In 2016, we finally decided that it was going to happen. I had decided that this was something I wanted to do on my own, not travelling with anyone I knew. Suddenly the day came where I had to pack up my bag and drive to the airport. The second I got there, and met all the people I was going to travel with from Norway, I got nervous. Here I was, all alone with people who could be totally crazy for all I knew. It turned out they were totally crazy, and the best people ever.
We lived on adrenaline for three weeks. We forgot to eat, we almost did not sleep at night and we did things I never thought I would get to do. We visited huge cities like New York, LA and Las Vegas, but also small beautiful places in West Virginia and Tennessee. I flew in a helicopter over Grand Canyon, drove in a limo in Las Vegas, and drove through Monument Valley while singing songs with the rest of the group. The most incredible thing we did, in my opinion, was river rafting in West Virginia. I have never been so scared and laughed so much in my whole life. Even though I will never forget any of these activities, the best part was the people I got to share these experiences with.
I miss these people with my whole heart. I met my best friends, and almost a year later, I still talk to them almost every day. I do not know what I would do without them. I have met them many times after the trip, but it never seems to be enough. People often ask me how these people can be my best friends, since I only spent three weeks with them and I do not see them every day. The thing is, if you have not experienced this yourself, it is hard to understand. I have never lived as I did those three weeks. With these people, I found happiness, freedom and trust. It was the happiest days of my life. Because that is the thing when you meet people while traveling, they do not know your history and your luggage. You can be and do whatever you want, and that freedom is unexplainable. How many can say that they met their best friends while driving through 16 states in America?
Then the day came, where we had to say goodbye. I have never felt that kind of pain before. I had to say goodbye to people that had become my whole world. I had to go back to a home that was not the same anymore. Home is not where it used to be. I have never felt as empty as the day I woke up alone in my own bed.
I got a tattoo that says, “never forget” in my native language. It reminds me to never forget this trip and the people that I love so dearly. It reminds me to live and dream, to know that there are more crazy adventures out there. I have learned that there is a big price for loving people all around the world, but oh my god it is worth it. When I go to Italy, Germany and Sweden, I know where to go.
The songs we sang to and the pictures we took always take me right back to our memories. Whenever we meet, we talk about everything that happened again and again, and we never get tired of our stories. We never get tired of laughing and reminiscing.
If I can give you one advice, just go. Leave your comfort zone. You have one life, so go live it. Go on crazy trips with people you do not know. It sure as hell worked for me.
Kirjoittanut Mathilde Magga, 18