Since before I can really remember, traveling the world has been my ultimate dream. I couldn’t even pin point when or where I got it into my mind that I wanted to see the world. I just did. I think the point where it really hit me was when I learned that my Uncle Chris got a job in London, England and my cousins and aunt and uncle were moving there. That was about five years ago and I recall that my cousin Nicole was devastated and didn’t want to go! I couldn’t believe it. I told my mom that I would take her place. I mean I get leaving all your childhood friends behind, but it’s ENGLAND we are talking about!
Nicole and I in London summer of 2009.
Think of the places you could see and experience. Nicole and her brother David did just that. They both were apart of their school’s volleyball and basketball teams and they traveled playing different teams around the world. Nicole definitely isn’t devastated about it now, but back then it was a pretty big deal. I was lucky enough to visit them after my high school graduation! My mom and I went and I had the best time of my life! I could totally see myself living in London.
So with travel in mind, I’ve decided to study abroad to the one place that has been on the very top of my list: Italy. I know that it is extremely expensive and I honestly don’t understand how ANYONE can truly afford it, but it really is an experience of a life time and I know that I won’t get this kind of opportunity again in a very long time, so I’m taking my chance while I can. To make it an even better trip, I got my friend Jessica (who is also taking this class) to come along with me! We both went to the same small-town high school and have similar dreams. I have to admit I’m not as afraid of being in a foreign country if someone I know and trust is there with me. It will certainly make Thanksgiving a lot more happy! I’m choosing to my travel abroad to Italy for my project because the cost is extremely expensive and it will be really good to have in mind at how much I have to spend and how much I want to spend. It will make traveling to other places a lot easier. Speaking of other places, we already know where we would like to go! Or at the very least, the countries that we would like to see.
My mom and I at Stonehenge in summer of 2009.
I am lucky enough to return to England! Jessica and I will be in England a couple of days before our study abroad trip and a couple of days before we go home. My family will still be there in the summer, so we will have a place to stay (luckily) but we will have to find our own place to stay before we come back home. I’m excited to show some of the places I know in England to Jessica!
Vineyard in Switzerland © Katarina 2011.
My family on my mom’s side is from Switzerland and they own a winery there! So Jessica and I will be going to visit! It’s a requirement for me, sort of, but it will be fun and exciting to see where I am from.
Barcelona, Spain. Firstlight workshop © 2008.
All we know is that we want to go to Spain! Jessica has a friend that we can stay with and it’s so close, so why not?!
Athens, Greece. © David Coster, 2011.
Greece! I’ve always wanted to go to Greece! The history has always fascinated me and as I am taking History of Ancient Greece this term, I am even more excited to actually see the places that I am learning about.
We would love to make it to Paris! I have a friend who was a foreign exchange student from high school and she lives in France. I’m going to see if maybe we could come visit her!
Venice, Italy. © MorBCN 2008.
Of course we will be exploring all of Italy! The place that I am most excited to see is Venice!
I can’t believe that my dream is coming true! It still doesn’t seem real and I’m totally stressing out about the cost and how my financial aid will transfer to our program. Plus I have no idea how I’m going to pay for my summer classes, let alone other travel accommodations! My term in Italy will be my last term ever, and same goes for Jessica. We are really going all out! And I’m pretty proud to be graduation early, considering that my brother graduated a term late and his friends even later. Part of the reason that I’m going abroad is to figure out who I am. I need to grow. I need to experience something out of my comfort zone because that has ALWAYS been really difficult for me. Being in a foreign country will DEFINITELY put me out of my comfort zone, but it will be a good thing. I’m also hoping that I might figure out what I want to do with my life because it scares me a little not knowing what I’ll be doing after I graduate. Although I do have other dreams, which are:
-Publishing my novel (yet to be written)
-Own a second hand bookstore/coffee shop with drinks named after fictional characters!
-Going to an elephant reserve/rescue center in Thailand with my cousin, Allie
-See as much of the world as my feet will carry me to