If you told me one day that I would be one of 25 people traveling across the United States on a train for 10 days, I would have thought you were crazy. Ten days on a train? How could you possibly do that? Well, I did it, and I can tell you that I would do it again.
Today (Saturday, June 13th) marks two weeks since we finished the journey. I have learned a great deal, but I strongly believe that the future will show exactly how profound the journey’s impact was on my professional and personal life.
The experience of being on the train was extremely rewarding for me, as it allowed me to meet many interesting people and see what some of the American South looks like.
There were a number of moments which I considered to be pivotal for my Fulbright-MTP project. I enjoyed talking to researchers from different fields such as architecture and social work, as well as hearing different perspectives from them. I gained much from these meetings, things that I probably could not learn from books or articles. Instead, I received advice based on many years of experience. I think the most important piece of advice I received was to remain connected with my community, and remain open to their concerns.
Thanks to the Fulbright-MTP journey, I was able to explore my interests in dementia and share my passion with the other members of this MTP group. In return, I heard inspiring stories from other participants who, although came from different backgrounds and walks of life, also wanted to initiate changes that can potentially benefit our society.
In summary, my experience of being one of this year’s Fulbright-MTP participants was extremely valuable because I was given an opportunity to meet young leaders. In terms of my project, my goal is continue working on developing my grant proposal and gather an interdisciplinary team of researchers who would also like to build dementia-friendly communities.
Check out the #Fulbright-Millennial Trains Project Storify feature for a visual representation of the journey!