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My American Experience: Ioana Toma, Romania

My American Experience

When I left home, for my long flight from Romania, on a very early, warm and slightly crisp morning, to Denver, Colorado, I knew that all my preconceived notions of the state, and the USA in general, would disappear when I arrived and actually lived there.  As one travel writer put it, “you can’t write about a place after reading Wikipedia.”

As we drove past the airport, we took I-70 towards Vail, Colorado, the journey being completely painless and full of scenery.  The silhouette of the Rockies’ front range – pale smoky blue and an enigma like Lochness – calmed in the distance, whilst driving past valleys and hills studded with pine and spruce.  After a two hour drive, I had arrived at a small, Swiss style town of Vail, blossoming with flowers.  I had never been so charmed.  This mountain town would be my home for the next 3 months.

If I were to write down what I want to share most of all about my time as a Summer Work & Travel student, I realize that the most beautiful thing that happened to me this summer, were the people.  Meeting and making new friends, without which my experience here wouldn’t’ have been the same.  Working as a server I got to interact with, not only with my fellow servers, but with the hostesses, cook, bussers, bartenders, and the variety of their nationalities was quite astounding.

I met Serbians, Mexicans, Russians, Bulgarians, Colombians, Moldavian, and Americans from all over the US.  It boggled my mind that we were all so different yet same, and although I was here to see and learn about the American culture, this experience this country, was so much more than that, so much more diverse and had so much to offer.

There were so many great and truly exciting memories to choose from, such as indoor skydiving, learning about baseball and just going to concerts and carnivals, laughing and enjoying ourselves, one does come up way about the others.  It was a hike to Hanging Lake and my first rafting trip that I went along with some of my coworkers.  It was the first time I was ever invited along, the first time I got to talk, learn, laugh and actually get to call them at the end of our day, my friends.  This day was a dream come true.  The view and the company couldn’t have been more perfect.

The thing about this program is that you never know how it’ll turn out to be in the end.  It has changed me in so many ways, but the most important one for me was that it made me see the world with much more joy, made me want to take every experience with open arms, and open mind.  It is never impossible, never too late to experience something new.  You just have to go for it.

Signs,
a Romanian girl who loves to travel because the experience is worth more to her than any physical possession

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