When I returned home from my first volleyball tour to Nicaragua in 2013, I told my parents that I left pieces of my heart in many places. That initial self-realization continues to ring true the more I travel internationally.
I had the unique opportunity to start my overseas travel experience in 2011, when I was just 16 years old. I was asked to play in the 7th Annual Global Challenge by my club volleyball coach at the time, BIP Midwest coach Eric Schulze. I could not have been more excited. I, along with 3 of my club teammates, traveled to Rome, Vatican City, Florence, Venice, Italy and Pula, Croatia. Before this trip, I had never been outside of the United States. This 2011 tour in particular was exciting for multiple reasons. One: I was going to major cities in Europe, places I only thought I would see in my school textbooks. Two: This was the first time I was exposed to playing highly competitive, international volleyball. Three: This was the first volleyball trip and tournament that I played in since tearing my ACL.
In 2012, my club volleyball team decided to travel to Europe for two weeks in May. We visited Milan, Italy, Munich, Germany, Prague, Czech Republic, and Innsbruck, Austria. This trip was special because my teammates were seniors in high school. These girls were my sisters and best friends for past 5 years of my life. Most of the team was moving on to college after this trip. We were able to make so many lifetime memories; memories that we still talk about today. [Read more…] about Lost and found: Pieces of the Heart