The most important thing you will accomplish while traveling is making connections. In my travels to Europe this summer, I built upon long-time friendships. I connected with people that I never thought I would. I also made new friends from across the world.
I got to travel with my best friend to Europe, which is a whole other story in it’s own. We were the perfect team: she hates olives and I love them. We maneuvered through Greece during a taxi strike with an ease that wouldn’t have been if it were with someone else. I am endlessly thankful for her patience and helpful hand after I broke my wrist in the middle of our trip.
I became closer to people I knew, people I danced with but maybe never opened up to. Prejudices were erased and new friendships had begun. Cheremosh is my second family. It is a place where friendships are built for life and an opportunity for dancers, like me, to pass the passion on from generation to generation. It is because of tours like our trip to Bulgaria that these connections become stronger. We are forced to problem solve, overcome challenges and build tolerance.
The people you meet when you travel can be some of the most influential people of your life, when it comes to opening your mind to the rest of the world. In Cheremosh’s travels, we have met plenty of interesting characters that offer a new perspective. At Eurofolk, we had the opportunity to spend time with a folk group from Eastern Russia. We could hardly ask for each others names. Despite the language barrier, these young folk dancers came up with a “surprise photo” game that kept us all laughing and giggling on the bus ride from Bourgas back to Nessebar.
At one performance, I noticed a man with a very professional looking camera. That doesn’t always mean that a person is capable of good photography, but he seemed to know his gear well. I wasn’t sure if he worked for the festival, or maybe just a tourist that stumbled upon Eurofolk. Either way, I wanted those photos, so I gave him my email. He sent me a link to his blog where I could find photos of the Eurofolk festival as well as all of his travels across the world – and I thought I had a travel bug.
I think back to that day, when I almost gave up my search for a paper and pen to write down my email. I am so glad I didn’t.