Europe? Ok!

Trip Start Mar 24, 2013
Trip End May 25, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Iowa
Monday, March 18, 2013

Since graduating in December, I have been struggling with the question "what's next?" I've applied for countless full-time, 'grown-up' jobs, and even let my hopes run wild with the idea of some of them. However, after my attempts seemed to fail time and again, I was feeling frustrated and questioning my future more and more.

In mid-February, a friend of mine emailed me about an opportunity to go to Europe for 8 weeks to work with Camp Adventure. She said something along the lines of "I know you are busy, but think about how awesome it would be!" Camp Adventure is a program through UNI, they contract with US Military bases all over the world and send college aged individuals to work with the kids on the bases. Their primary program is in the summer, but they also offer internships in the Fall and Spring, and their Europe contacts had an increased need this spring. 

I had applied to Camp Adventure, and was accepted a few years back, but was unable to go due to my choice to attend the Institute. In some ways, when I read the email from my friend it felt like a second chance. But I immediately let fear overtake me. I immediately thought about my responsibilities here, my life- here, my family- here. Of course, I knew it was only for a little while, and I knew it was a once in a life time opportunity- but I am really good at letting Satan convince me I am not capable of something. 

I started talking to my friends and family about it, unfortunately my parents were out of the country- but I knew I had enough people in my life that would give me wise counsel, at least until they got back. The responses were overwhelmingly- GO! DON'T LOOK BACK! It was what (almost) everyone kept saying- and deep down, I knew they were right. 

One of the friends (Kristi) I chose to talk to about it is in a similar stage of life as me, we are the same age, and both recently graduated without jobs. On my way to talk to her I thought, maybe she will want to go too, that would make it easier go- but I quickly waved that thought off...too good to be true, right? Well as I was talking, she asked "can more than 1 person do this? should I do it too?" And the journey officially began!

We applied, we were accepted, and we (will likely)* leave for Europe in less than 1 week! 

Originally we were suppose to leave March 17, less than 2 weeks from being accepted. Despite our frantic efforts to turn in and sign mountains of documents- Camp A couldn't get it all worked out on their end to send us that quick. But as of Friday, they were trying to buy our plane tickets for March 24!  By the grace of God, we will be placed in the same sounds pretty promising, we did a good job of continually bringing up the other's name so they would remember we want to go together! They told us we would probably be going to Ansbach, Germany- but possibly Schweinfurt, Germany- they're waiting to hear back from the Army. We will fly into Nuremberg either way, so that's why they were going ahead with the plane tickets. 

Hopefully we will find out more details tomorrow as to our flight schedule and what not. For now, we are getting excited to go to Europe. We are excited for this opportunity to travel. We are excited to see more of God's creation, and have our perspective of the world grow ever wider. I am excited to live life in another place, even if only for a couple of months. I am excited to be pushed out side of my comfort zone, and test the levels of exhaustion while traveling as much as possible during our weekends off. I am excited for my friend, Cindy to meet me in Germany when Camp A ends, and spend 2 weeks making memories in Europe. 

I don't know what lies ahead, what comes next, after Germany. That is terrifying. But I know that I serve a God who knows the desires of my heart. Who knows that I long to see more of His world, meet more of His children, and glorify Him along the way. 
I also know that it is possible that I will never be this "free" again, eventually I will likely be married and have a family- and I await and long for that day. But because of that, I am excited for this journey knowing that now is the perfect time to go. Now is the perfect time to let go of some of the responsibilities- just for a time...and go. 

*I say likely because we still don't have our actual itinerary, so "technically" the date could still be pushed a bit...but it sounded like they were buying the tickets for the 24 last we knew. (That might sound crazy, but really it is nothing compared to what has gone down over the past week or two trying to get things in order to go so last minute) 
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Cindy on

Morgan! I am SO excited for you and SO inspired by your attitude! It takes a certain amount of gumption (my favorite new word learned by watching the movie 'The Holiday') to do what you are about to do and I know it will be nothing but a fabulous journey! Those kids are truly lucky to have someone like you coming their way in just a few short days and I can only imagine that you will change their lives just as much as they yours. I can't wait to hear all about it and to finish out the trip with you! Almost there!

Aunt Cheryl on

Morgan -- Don and I will be looking forward to your blogs. I know you will have an amazing time. Brian and family will be visiting a cousin in Aurich, Germany, on Easter Sunday, then driving to Berlin for a few days. A friend here grew up in Nurenberg, so I'll talk with him. Safe travels, and have fun. You're right, now is the time to do it. We love you.

Jamie on

We are very proud of you and will miss you tons! This is that time in your life here you need to do what's best for you and enjoy the ride you are about to take. Take lots of pictures and take advantage of the travel that awaits you on the weekends. Xoxo

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