The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Sadie Allen. Sadie is spending the second part of her gap year in Croatia.

Well folks, it’s quite the rainy day here in Split. I slept in late and awoke to the sound of the drops hitting the tin roof outside. After a few cups of coffee in my system, I decided to sit in the downstairs café to try and get some work done. A few weeks ago, I impulsively purchased a Vogue Italia magazine. I always love looking through the curated images to get inspiration. After flipping through the magazine a dozen times, I wondered if I should keep it in its pristine form or if I should rip out the pages I liked. I had originally decided to keep the magazine as-is— a little memento of my time in Split. This morning, though, I decided that I should rip it up (aggressive, right?). I sat down in the café with two of my friends, Randi and Vanessa. They watched as I tore out my favorite images and conjured plans for a collage or two. After a bit of convincing, they grabbed a pair of scissors to join in. There we sat, cutting and collecting images for our own creations.

By lunch time, all of the volunteers had joined in to make something beautiful. It was amazing to be surrounded by so many people creating. On such a rainy day, one might assume the hours would be gloomy or slow. Surrounded by some of my favorite people, all holding magazine clippings and glue sticks, I felt so happy and at peace. It reminded me of how connecting art can be. The strangers, mingling in the café, admired our mess of distorted faces and backgrounds. We were all bonded together in that moment. The drizzle outside, the clippings freckling the floor, the stolen scissors— it was an afternoon I know I’ll never forget.

As we cleaned up our mess and swept our unused models into an old paper bag, I felt calm. With so much rattling in my mind, I needed this quiet afternoon. A few collages later, I felt that everything would be okay. While traveling has left me feeling lonely and lost at times, moments like these have reminded me that it is all worth it. I’ve found time and time again that the process of creating can be so therapeutic. Whether I’m in the little town of Saluda, NC or in Split, Croatia, I know that sitting down, scissors in hand and ready to create, is bound to make me smile.