As I am writing my final blog in an airport cafe, I do not feel sad or depressed that I am leaving this country. Why is that? This has been the greatest trip of my life and has been a time of new experiences with great people. How can I not feel sad about leaving? Simply put, it’s because I know I am coming back.
Last night at dinner, we all went around the table and toasted someone or something about this trip. What was similar in every toast was that this trip would not have been the same with different people. Being a part of a diverse group of individuals allowed us to get out of our comfort zones and open our hearts and minds to new things. There were many people who came here not liking seafood, but left wanting to eat it every night. There were some who dreaded getting up at 7:00 a.m. but are now leaving wishing they could if it only meant staying in Slovenia.
For me, this trip was a chance to get a glimpse into a culture I probably would have never experienced had it not been for this trip. This country may be small, but it offers more than any other country in the world. Its people are proud, its culture is rich, its landscape is diverse and beautiful, and their food is really really good. I am not worried that I will never come back here.
As a new ambassador to Slovenia, it is my responsibility to understand the opportunity I had, and to get others to experience it. I am thankful to the country of Slovenia and its people for hosting us, and introducing us to a culture of love, pride and humility.