Something unexpected.

All I ever wanted was to enjoy the little things in life. My name is Victoria; I am an exchange student for one academic year at Murray State University. I grew up like an ordinary girl. When I was a child, I learned my native language, Spanish. When I went to school, I made friends and learned to communicate with others. I was able to travel around the world before eventually being accepted into a university. Like everyone else, I have had so many experiences; some of them are great memories and they deserve to be told. I remember my first exchange; it was four years ago. I went to France and I learned how to speak French. I was very proud of myself. However, my life still goes on, and it is changing all the time, in every second, there could be something unexpected, it just happens.

One year ago, I travelled to Vienna in order to participate as a volunteer in a work camp. We were a group of thirty people from all over the world using English to communicate with each other. We had never met each other before; it was so weird spending the first night sleeping together in the same room. The only thing that we had in common it was the project. In the work camp, we had to coexist, and perform in a play. We traveled to Vienna only knowing that we had to live there for three weeks and to perform a play that included people with disabilities.

Two days after we met, we still had trouble remembering names. After doing some exercises, we learned everyone’s name. This play was so meaningful because it allowed us to become closer.  We all trusted each other, and got along well. It was an amazing experience. We also participated in creating the play; it consisted of little pieces of our own thoughts and feelings. The main theme of it was being a foreigner, getting lost, and finally finding a way home. Everyone could identify with that issue, since we were all far away from home, and in a place where we didn’t belong.

We shared every second, every morning, every breath, every lunch, and every step. We exchanged words, thoughts, gestures, performing, cooking, cleaning, singing, painting, playing, and laughing. We did it every single day for three weeks. The best three weeks of my life. We did not just collaborate, participate, meet new people, or learn from each other; we also made friends. We learned the meaning of the word friendship, how to live together, and that fear is gone when you get over it and open your mind. Home is wherever you are, the only things that matter are having the people you appreciate around, and you can feel comfortable, like home.

The experience that change my life the most was going to Vienna because there I realized that life just happens, and it made me feel alive, more than ever.



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