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21 Oct, 2019   |   

Meet the Cast Monday: Graham from Minnesota

Get to Know Graham from St. Paul, Minnesota in the United States in this week’s Meet the Cast Monday!
Graham plays in the Up with People band and has a strong passion for music, recording and mixing. See what his experience has been like so far on tour!

Why did you decide to travel in Up with People?

“I decided to travel with Up with People for the connections I would make on the road through music, as well as the friendships I would build.”

Guitar player performing in the Up with People bandWhat was it like arriving in Italy for the first time?

“Arrival day in Italy was super cool. It was really interesting to see the differences in their culture immediately after getting off of the plane.
Our first day in Italy was very inspiring by seeing how Europe does things differently, especially with the eating culture. At dinner, there are so many courses I didn’t expect. My host family cooked dinner and I was full by the second course. Of course, they put more food down in front of me!”

How did you hear about Up with People?

“I heard about Up with People at a gap year fair. A participant from a previous semester had graduated from the same high school as me a few years earlier and had traveled on tour. It was cool to get an inside perspective of the program.”

What were you most excited or nervous about when starting the Up with People program?

“I was most nervous about being out on my own, but I soon realized that it is an amazing experience and love the freedom!
I was super excited to meet 100 new people from different countries all over the world. They have become the closest friends I’ve ever had and I hope to stay in touch with them for the rest of my life.”

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

“My biggest challenge on the road has probably been being away from usual comforts. Things are changing every single day and every week we are in a different city, so it is difficult to become comfortable with schedules and where we are living for that week.”

What do you hope to gain through this experience traveling and performing?

“I hope to gain connections through music and friendships that will last a lifetime. I also want to build my understanding of different cultures around the world so I can see the world through other people eyes.
Since being on tour, I’ve learned how to adapt to being more flexible with my schedule. Here in Italy, people are so much more loose with their time so it is good to be flexible.”

What was it like meeting your Italian host family for the first time?

“At first, meeting my first Italian host family was kind of awkward, but was super cool in the end. They ended up not speaking a word of English so we had to use a lot of hand signals and Google translate.”

Why are programs like Up with People important for others to experience?

“I think a program like Up with People is important because it exposes people to something incredible who might not have the opportunity to see the world and experience different cultures.”
“Makin’ music, makin’ a song,
Makin’ love a little easier,
Takin’ a feelin’, makin’ it strong,
Takin’ life and makin’ a song.”
Makin’ Music © Up with People

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