To be honest, I am still pinching myself that I am soon to embark on this incredible journey that is Cultural Routes. I am currently trying to form coherent sentences that express the excitement. Every time, this is about as far as I get: AHHHHHHH, HOLY MOLY OH MY GOSH!!! Okay, but seriously, what an exciting adventure we are on! I’m thrilled to say that I don’t yet know what all to expect, and I joyfully anticipate each and every CR discovery from now on.
I first heard about Cultural Routes during orientation in June of 2017, when my mom said to me, “Indigo, you should really consider applying to this summer program called Cultural Routes. Someone from the Honors College was talking about it, and he says he takes a small group of students backpacking through various European cities. It just sounds like you!” Upon asking her what this said man’s name was, she replied, “I’m not sure. I just know he’s bald and very passionate about his students. Please look into this.” I kept this blurb from my mom in the back of my mind, until one day during my first semester, my friend Lance told me about his experience with CR. The way his eyes lit up when he talked about his familia and his newfound perspective on the world and people around him sparked my imagination. Once the applications for summer programs opened, I knew I would apply, though I did not yet understand the depth of this experience. I, of course, was infatuated with the idea of traveling to Germany, Italy, and Switzerland and making a new group of pals. And who wouldn’t want to spend three and a half weeks exploring Europe with a passionate bald guy and a crew of TCU honors students?
I was sold.
Flash-forward to December 15th, 2017. I had just landed in Atlanta, home for the holidays! While on a train in the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, heading to baggage claim, I received an email from Dr. Ronald Pitcock (formerly known as the passionate bald guy), affirming my “CR10 Acceptance.” To say my heart began to spring about like a bouncy ball inside my chest–while not literal–is an understatement. My family probably expected to find me thrilled to see them when they picked me up outside of baggage claim (I of course was), but I don’t think they could have possibly anticipated (or prepared for) my level of enthusiasm at the time. I was exuberant, as were they when I finally was able to tell them what I had just discovered.
CR10 is rapidly approaching, and my heart still jumps with excitement when Dr. P emails us. Upon meeting my CR10 familia and listening to CR alumni share their stories–some bizarre, all very unique–and cultural experiences, I began to understand more of what CR is about. Dr. P has created a program that fosters personal growth in the areas of interpersonal relationships, cultural awareness, confidence, team-building, and so much more. I eagerly anticipate being thrown into unfamiliar places with the goal of learning from those around me–both my new familia and the locals–and gaining a deeper understanding of the world in which I live. I can say with sincerity (as I pinch myself again), I am so very honored to be a part of this team.