One of my favorite parts of CR is the walking. And let me tell ya, we walked a lot. I had the most stirring conversations, eye opening realizations, and Lauren-style “wow” moments during our walks between destinations. It is so special to see the cities from a pedestrian point of view because we started to know our way around (huge step for a directionally challenged gal like me) and we truly saw the city’s culture rather than just the tourist spots. The musical genius Ben Rector (who came to TCU last fall!!) sings “life is not the mountain tops / it’s the walking in between / and I like you walking next to me”. You can bet your Patagonia Micro-D Fleece I liked these goobers walking next to me. CR10 certainly visited the mountain tops in Interlaken, but we also had in between moments on travel days (RIP night train) and our 204.4 miles of walking according to the iPhone health app.
It’s crazy thinking about everywhere my shoes have been in 3.5 weeks—they have accumulated dust, rocks, dirt, rain, and snow from all across Europe and now they get to go back to the states and continue on to new adventures. All 16 of our shoes will go on to different cities and different experiences but they’ll carry the memories of CR from Kansas to Illinois. We would joke about having rocks in our Stocks and Chacs (Birkenstocks and Chacos, AKA the official unofficial sponsors of CR), but I would gladly undergo the agony of having a foreign rock shard in my foot if it meant I got to walk across Europe again with the familia.
I am a highly nostalgic individual, so all throughout CR I took videos of us walking around with historic architecture rising above our heads. I’m planning on making a video compilation just to be even more nostalgic and make myself cry some more. It’s fun seeing who is talking to each other in these videos—in every single one, we are branching out and making more connections with each other. We were pushed to connect with people we weren’t as comfortable with coming into CR, and you can tell in the videos that we were making the effort to get to know each other by making use of the time we had while exploring cities with each other.
Taylor and I walked back from dinners together a lot. We find a lot of similar things funny which is startling because usually nobody else thinks lame things are funny like I do. Taylor is world renowned for her story telling and facial expressions. You can’t talk to her and not walk away with a cramp in your side from laughing so hard. I love how she perfectly captures every emotion possible in her hilarious facial expressions, and you can’t help but mimic them when you’re with her. One time at dinner, Dr. P asked some of us who were sitting near him who had surprised us most on CR. Two of us said Taylor because she has such an explosive and magnetic personality that has shone so much on CR. If you’re reading this Taylor, you’re a superstar.
We got to see mimes on two occasions, and they have an uncanny ability to see a person and in an instant copy their walk. I started trying to do this with people in my groups because it is a fun challenge to analyze someone and how they carry themselves. It tells you so much about a person by simply seeing how they walk. For example, Audrey walks with such elegance and upright grace, Lauren has the happiest, bounciest walk I’ve ever seen, Abby walks with equal parts humility and curiosity, and Indigo leads with her heart as her eyes take in everything around her. I would find myself in the back of the group to watch everyone walking and laughing (creepy, I know) and think about how long the next 2 months will be without them and their quirks. I’ll save my gross nostalgia and feels for another post, but I encourage all of you to take every moment, especially the in-between, transition times to make meaningful connections with whoever is near. I guarantee you’ll learn something new about them as you both get closer and closer to your destinations.