At the beginning of 2020, I stood before my boss, Susanne, with 1,000 things on my mind and endless curiosity.

The adventurer in me knocked more and more often impatiently, because she had to satisfy herself now already two years from the memories of the backpacking trip through Central America. The plan was set: three months full of new impressions and experiences should lie ahead of me…

What do they say? Always expect the unexpected.

What came next, we all know: The pandemic reached us, the first lockdown was declared. It was quickly clear that my trip, the much longed for time out from everyday life, would have to wait and my flight was canceled. Instead of exploring unfamiliar places, we became more and more familiar with our own four walls. Instead of making new friends, we got to know ourselves better.

That the adventure, as planned, would never have taken place anyway, became clear to me on the day of the planned departure. The phone rings in the evening: A person from my heart is on his way to the hospital. My heart beats faster. Unfortunately, not because it is the moment when you stop paddling, stand up and feel the wave carrying you all the way to the beach.

The experiences of the weeks, months and years that followed were different from what was expected. What I wanted was an everyday life with sand on my feet and wind in my hair. I wanted to gain experience on my travels and learn as a person. What I was able to learn instead: a family member got a second chance and we people around grew beyond ourselves. I learned more about myself than one could do on any world trip. The experiences were different from what I had planned, different from what one would want, but of a much more significant nature. I learned that the spot I live in is not just a place, but feels like my home after all, that being far away is not always beneficial, but staying here often has so much more to offer.

And most importantly, that the people around me are already running towards me to hold me before I could even yell “Go!”.

CommUnity what?

These anecdotes come from members of the CommUnity International network.

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