Being outside your bubble isn’t easy, but necessary


Aaron Weatherford, The Chart

Street-side diners in Paris are everywhere. While visiting Paris, students and faculty were able to enjoy the diners as part of the cultural experience.

Earlier this year, I was eccstatic at the idea of going to Paris. Paris has always been a destination on my bucket list. It is a city of lights, love, mystery and history.

Prior to France this year, I have been to nearly a dozen countries around the world. However, this experience would be different because I was going abroad of my own choosing. 

I (like many others) wanted to to visit La Tour Eiffel, Musée du Louvre and take a boat cruise through Paris on La Seine.

My greatest memory from Paris this year cannot be narrowed to one, so I’ll try to narrow to two. 

My top two memories are walking around the top of the Eiffel Tower taking in the majestic view of Paris at 11 p.m., and enjoying a cup of café with our group at a street-side diner. 

In every new environment, I try to look for things which are unique and different. What is so different about Paris than Joplin? To start with, everything. 

Upon arrival, I could not speak French or navigate the metro. And I would frequently look over my shoulder to see if I was being followed. 

Being out of my comfort zone was uncomfortable at first, but it made the experience that much more memorable. Knowing you can be out of your “bubble” and survive is a great piece of knowledge.

Here in the four-state area, we are in our bubble. We know where things are, we know we are relatively safe in the area.

However, to live and grow, we need to get out of our comfort bubble and embrance new places, things and ideas.

I was fortunate to have visited this city with great people. Ian, Levi, Slavings, Olive and others made the trip enjoyable. Yet at the end, I was sad the trip was over.

Even though the recent attacks by a group of lily-livered scumbags has put everyone on edge, we must continue to live our lives. 

Yes, just like after 9/11, we should be cautious, but not let fear overtake our lives.