Something that has been pleasantly surprising is that even though I’m only a little more than halfway done with my internship, I can honestly say that I have changed in some ways because of my internship as far as my perspective is concerned. I have always been eager to travel the world and see as many places as I can but, as I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I never considered visiting Macedonia or even most of Eastern Europe before I got this internship. In thinking about why that is, I realized that even though I have always wanted to travel, the places on my list have mostly been the traditionally beautiful tourist destinations that every one seems to talk about wanting to visit. I never really considered the smaller, less visited areas of the world and this internship has made me realize what a missed opportunity it would be to not include some of those places on my list. Macedonia is not a place that most people across the world would think about but it has so much culture and history and many wonderfully beautiful parts. I am extremely glad that I have had the opportunity to experience this place, and now, I am more determined than ever to visit many places that one wouldn’t find on your typical destination list.
Another aspect that has changed is my idea surrounding my future career. I am sure that I want to go into public policy in regards to sexuality and gender, but I had plans to focus my career in the U.S. when trying to make changes in whatever ways I can. While this is definitely still a part of my goals, being here has also brought me face to face with how different things in different countries can be compared to the U.S. in regards to policies regarding LGBTQ+ individuals. Distantly I have seen how widely different areas of the world can differ, but this internship has given me a close look at this variety. Because of this, now more than ever I would like to try and take my career in an international direction as well. I am not sure yet what exactly this will entail for my future, but I am grateful to my internship for giving me this new perspective.