Gamarjoba! (Hello in Georgian!) Fall break is fast approaching here at LCC. In fact, it’s next week already, meaning that we only have half of our semester here in Lithuania remaining. It has gone faster than I could have expected, but it is not yet time to reflect on the end of the semester!
No, we have our fall break trip next week. Now, for those of you who are alums of Study Abroad Lithuania, you’re probably already reminiscing about your own trip to St. Petersburg and Moscow, about Red Square, about the ballet, and the overnight train ride.
We’re not going to Russia. Due to recent political events, Russia has changed its tourist visa policies. so now interviews appear to be necessary when that was not the case beforehand. This change was incredibly last-minute and happened between when we submitted our visa applications and when the visas would have been issued. All of this took place in under a week.
International geopolitics can change incredibly quickly, and with that, the requirements for travel. Certainly, being unable to travel to Russia has been disappointing for many students. They were looking forward to it immensely and it had been a significant part of the reason that they came.
Yet in the end, these things are out of our control. As a traveler, one of the first lessons to learn is that many things are out of our control. All that we can manage to control is our response.
It is something that we have been learning. Of course, once the initial surprise was over, it was an entirely new opportunity. We were able to learn about a new country, a new culture, a new thread of history, parts of a new language, and an entirely different culture. As we have learned more, we have grown more and more excited about this chance to study and explore a country that very few of us had heard of while living in the US. There are Georgian students at LCC, and they are all very excited that we will be visiting their country. They have been telling us places to see, foods to try, and their favorite things about their home.
That has helped create new relationships as I have met people here that I have not had the chance to meet yet! It’s exciting to connect with others about their home country. Now, I am certainly no expert on Georgia, and it will be a brilliant learning experience to be there.
So, until after the break, nakhvamdis! (Goodbye in Georgian!)
Enjoy this video of Georgia that we have been watching and scrutinizing as we prepare! Have you ever had the chance to visit? What was your favorite? Have we convinced you to visit yet?