Coffee and Countries: My Next Adventure

passport photo

This past April, all it took was a simple email to set in motion achieving one of my life goals: traveling the world. When I sat down at a computer in the University of Akron television station that has practically become my home, I simply expected to be trashing about a dozen emails, like I usually did. I briefly scrolled through each email, only to reassure myself that the information and advertisements within them were entirely irrelevant. I clicked on an email from the National Society of High School Scholars, “Scholarship notification” as the subject. They’re probably just telling me I didn’t get a scholarship that I simply applied for, just for the hell of it, I thought to myself.

Oh boy, I have never been more wrong in my entire life.

I skimmed through the email. My heart began to pound and my eyes began to sting, tears threatening to make known the contents of my entire brain.

“Congratulations!” it began.

Over the next week, I read the email over and over and over again, to make sure I read it correctly the previous hundred times, and that it was not some fluke. The National Society of High School Scholars, partnered with the Semester at Sea study abroad program wanted to give me a full scholarship to be apart of their world wide study abroad program for the fall of 2016.

Through the Semester at Sea program, I will be embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. While taking classes on a beautiful luxury ship, I will be stopping in twelve different countries, and 13 cities, to experience all that the huge world around me has to offer- really, a dream come true.

You know you’re excited when you already begin to think of the captions for photos you have yet to post to Instagram. The countries I will be romping around are Germany, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Senegal, Spain, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, and Trinidad and Tobago.

While studying abroad, I also plan to make a documentary, its focus undecided thus far (and did I mention that there is a poolside bar on the ship? International drinking laws, bitch).

Right now, the planning period is an adventure in and of itself, let me tell you. Well, a paper adventure anyway. I do not think I have ever experienced this much paperwork, between my passport application, visa application, and all the information that both  my home university and host university require… it is a lot.

In addition to taking classes, I intend to embark on several adventures in the different cities and countries, like a tour of the crypts and catacombs in Florence, Italy, and of course, acquiring a small amount of coffee beans from each country I visit. I’m super stoked to get authentic Peruvian coffee beans!

I have a lot of people trying to talk me out of going. But they have no idea what this opportunity means to me. This is literally a dream come true; some nights I would lay awake at night, wondering if I would ever get the opportunity to experience the world and have the adventure of a life time. But now, here it is, and I’m more ready than ever to drive to Cleveland Hopkins airport and fly to Germany.

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