“This Wasn’t a Strange Place; It Was a New One”

The quote in this title is from Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist, a book about traveling, learning new things and discovering who you’re meant to be and what you’re meant to do.

While I can’t say I’ve figured everything out like the main character of the story, I can say that I feel that even just in the last two weeks I have expanded my way of thinking and come to appreciate the things in my life in an entirely different way.

This has been the last 2 weeks for me, just the most beautiful, photo-worthy moments of course, not the struggles getting there, the confusion of being in a new place, or how gross I looked after our class walked all over the city in the heat and humidity!

Anthony Bourdain said, “If you’re… hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them wherever you go” and that is the plan, over the next four weeks, in addition to being in Lyon I am going to visit Nice, Avignon, and Annecy!

Here is to always striving to be better than we are because, “… when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too” and maybe if we all strive to be the best we can be, we can change the world for the better.


Sydney Serrano is a freshman studying Psychology and French at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Sydney will spend the summer abroad with the UMKC French Summer Program in Lyon, France. Sydney is a member of Alternative Spring Break and Pride Alliance at the University of Missouri Kansas.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.