The German Marshall Fund contacts we made told us fellowship participants, "You're now part of a network of fellows around the U.S. and Europe." I had a sense of that in meeting European Fellows who'd traveled the U.S. for their fellowship and welcomed us as instant friends, and before I left for my trip when I called a couple fellows from other years for guidance. Without knowing anything more about me than than I was about to embark on the same wonderful adventure they had, they opened up and provide great tips and insights.
Now that I've returned to my regular day-to-day grind, I was reminded of the camaraderie of the trip and the network to which I do indeed belong when I received a call from a fellow traveler, Carrie from Chicago.
She was coming to town for a short visit and we had a chance to get together, reminisce, and catch up on changes in our lives since the trip. The most obvious difference: I've gained some girth and she's lost over a foot of hair!
She also had a chance to catch up with Heather, another fellow in this area. I didn't get a chance to catch up with them again, but it's nice to be reminded that we are indeed part of a unique network of people from all walks of life who are interested in building ties with people across the Atlantic and across the U.S.
I'll get a chance to increase my ties later this week when I host some European Fellows as they travel through the area. I don't think we can match the grandeur of some of our visits in Europe, but we'll try to show the Northwest in a positive light. More fun sure to ensue!