I have been back from Knoxville, Tennessee for 3 days now and all I want is to go back! I honestly was a bit hesitant about the trip as all of my friends were going on extravagant vacations to the Bahamas and Cancun; however, after this experience I would never trade this trip for the world! I’m almost at a loss of words because throughout the trip I learned and experienced so much. After the first day I felt extremely comfortable with everyone in the group. Creating this strong bond made it easy for the group to work very well together and learn from one another. Although I got tired while clearing out all of the honeysuckle on the first day, we all kept each other excited, motivated, and enthusiastic. I then knew this trip was going to be amazing.

I loved all of the service projects, from building trails to debarking wood. But what I loved most was talking and learning from the people. While at the senior center, I talked with a woman named Laura. She really put everything we were doing into perspective from her personal stories and knowledge of the Cherokee Community. The one thing I really took away from talking to all the Cherokees was that you need to ‘enjoy and live life’ as one man, Shorty, told us. All of the people we spoke to were always so happy and positive. At times it’s hard to live like this, but I realized sometimes I need to take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and appreciate all I have.

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