There’s No Place Like Home

There’s No Place Like Home

There’s truly no place like home. After almost five months of the most incredible journey of my life, I was anxious to return home. I have always been dreaming of the day that I would leave Ohio and travel the world and found myself surprisingly excited to make the journey back to Ohio. While I … Read more

There’s truly no place like home. After almost five months of the most incredible journey of my life, I was anxious to return home. I have always been dreaming of the day that I would leave Ohio and travel the world and found myself surprisingly excited to make the journey back to Ohio. While I was hoping for an unforgettable adventure this semester, I could have never predicted how many unbelievable places I would travel to, the wonderful friends I would make and how much I would learn about myself and the world. Although I didn’t realize it while I was in Europe, I am now slowly realizing with each passing day how my perspective on things has changed. Who knew that in five short months you could learn so much?

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One of the things I realized while I was away is that where you are doesn’t matter quite as much as who you are with. While I got the opportunity to travel to some of the most amazing places in the world, I found myself wishing I could share every incredible moment with my family. I wished mom was with me to aimlessly walk through the breathtaking tulip fields in Holland, my sisters could see the Eiffel Tower sparkle, my brother could experience the insane crowds cheering during European “football” games, dad could hike to the top of the volcano in beautiful Santorini, and grandma could enjoy a cannoli with me while strolling the streets of Sicily, where her parents came from. Family means everything to me and the past five months made me realize even more how truly blessed I am to have them in my life.

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What I looked forward to most upon arriving in the United States:

  1. Seeing my family (a hug from mom was my first priority after landing)
  2. DRIVING (finally getting to go exactly where I want, when I want, without worry of delays, strikes or cancellations)
  3. Getting back into the Sunday morning church & brunch routine
  4. Hot dog shop (two chili cheese dogs and a chocolate shake please!)
  5. Summer (warm weather, fun concerts, ice cream runs with Laur, and the list goes on…)

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What will I miss most about Europe?

  1. The relaxed, slow-paced, “let life happen” atmosphere
  2. The ability to spontaneously hop on a plane to another country
  3. Nutella gelato waffles & spaghetti with fresh tomatoes and basil
  4. The un-replicable views of the Italian countryside
  5. The cute, flower potted, colored-door side streets in Italy

I know I will be craving another adventure, feeling the urge to travel the world, soon enough, but for now I am so happy to be back at home sweet home.

I’m Home…And Back to the Roots

I’m Home…And Back to the Roots

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I just got back to the states, and still have many posts I would like to share about my experience abroad … don’t worry. Over the rest of summer and once school starts up, I plan to compose some posts about surviving in a different country, tips to avoid being pick-pocketed, traveling advice and maybe some inspirational photos. Right when I got home I felt a little relieved, but the truth is I still wanted to be in Spain. The Euro 2012 soccer games were still going on, Olympics starting up and coverage over Spain in the states was booming. I wanted to turn right around and go back! Over a few weeks, hours upon hours of editing photos, and seeing old friends, it was nice to finally be back in my roots.

My summer has been jammed with working, volunteering, concerts and adventuring through the beautiful state of Wisconsin. I also received a gift from my oldest brother and joined the Back to the Roots community. Back to the Roots was founded at UC Berkeley in 2009 two months away from graduation when two students came across the idea during a class lecture of being able to potentially grow gourmet mushrooms entirely on recycled coffee grounds. Inspired by the idea of turning waste into wages and fresh, local food, they experimented in a fraternity kitchen, ultimately growing one test bucket of tasty oyster mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds. With that one bucket, some initial interest from Whole Foods and a grant they decided to forget the corporate route, and instead, become full-time urban mushroom farmers.

They offer a grow a Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Garden which lets anyone, across the country grow their own gourmet mushrooms at home (see video). Part of my job in the community is to upload photos of my mushrooms, provide them with feedback, and sit in on webinars with the founders. When I post a picture with your kit fully grown on their facebook page they will donate a kit and sustainability curriculum to an elementary classroom of my choice to support youth sustainability education! They’ve reached over 10,000 kids with this campaign. I can’t wait to bring my kit to school with me and it does feel nice to be back in the states!

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

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One of the many things I love about Mount Union is how early we start the summer.

I moved out this past weekend (while it was still April!) and it so nice to be home now.  Moving out took so much more time this year than it ever has because of all the furniture I had (because I lived off campus in a house).  It was a lot of heavy lifting and packing, but we did it!  Now, it’s just a matter of unpacking everything at home and figuring out places for it all to go.  :]

It’s also nice getting out early because we get a jump start on jobs! I interviewed at the Winking Lizard Tavern back in March and they hired me, and I’m going in for my orientation today! I’ve been waitressing at Bob Evans for the past five years and I’m really excited for a change of pace and scenery but to continue serving.  I love being around people and it’s usually good money too! $

Well, that’s all for now.  I’ll keep you updated on my latest happenings throughout the summer.  Happy May everyone!!

-Shannon