Dunja heads to the Desert
Exchange student from Serbia and family on Sedona hike

Serb gets a crash course in hiking

My name is Dunja, and I am a FLEX/PAX student from Serbia. I am currently spending my exchange year in Texas.

A couple of weeks ago, we had a short holiday for Indigenous Peoples’ Day. My host family decided to make a trip to Arizona. We went to Sedona, a desert city surrounded by red rocks.

Our trip was a hiking trip, which is something I don’t usually do at home. My host mom had several small expeditions planned. Some required climbing on high up, which was not so easy for me, considering that I have a great fear of heights. It was definitely a step out of my comfort zone.

My favorite part was the Bell Rock Climb. Although probably the scariest of all for me, and the most challenging, it was totally worth it. The view was amazing, and I saw scenery that I thought I would only ever see in a movie. We enjoyed the charms of the red rocks for four days, and I had the best time ever.

Apart from the fact that on trips like this I have the opportunity to see different parts of America, I think such adventures bring me and my host family closer. As Thanksgiving approaches, we are getting ready for new adventures, and I can only say that I am very grateful for the opportunity to have these experiences with them. I am so excited about the next seven months with them and all the memories we will make in the future.

—Dunja (FLEX, Serbia), hosted by the Aguirre family (TX)