And So It Begins

**THIS IS ONE OF MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE QUOTES. I THOUGHT IT WAS PRETTY RELEVANT**

“WE CAN’T BE AFRAID OF CHANGE. YOU MAY FEEL VERY SECURE IN THE POND THAT YOU ARE IN, BUT IF YOU NEVER VENTURE OUT OF IT, YOU WILL NEVER KNOW THAT THERE IS SUCH A THING AS AN OCEAN, A SEA. HOLDING ONTO SOMETHING THAT IS GOOD FOR YOU NOW, MAY BE THE VERY REASON WHY YOU DON’T HAVE SOMETHING BETTER.”

Wow. The day is almost here. The day where I say goodbye to all of my friends and family for about 8 months. Honestly, it seemed as if this day would never come but also came so quickly. I feel as if I still have so much to do within a short amount of time…

For those of you who don’t know, I am about to embark on a four month “voyage” through a program called Semester at Sea. Through this program, students are able to earn 12-15 college credits while sailing all over the world on a floating college campus. (Aka the real life version of Suite Life on Deck…am I right ?!?) With every semester voyage being different, my Spring 2017 voyage includes visits to the following destinations:

  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Kobe, Japan
  • Shanghai, China
  • Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
  • Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
  • Cochin, India
  • Mauritius
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Tema, Ghana
  • Casablanca, Morocco
  • Hamburg, Germany

It is crazy to think that I will literally be sailing around the world and visiting all of these places in only a matter of 3 months. On average, we will be spending around 4-6 days in each country. While in these countries, we can choose to either stay in the ports or travel wherever we want within the countries’ borders (as long as we are back to the ship on time).

Not only am I extremely excited about this experience, but I am also incredibly anxious. Obviously, I am sad about having limited contact with my loved ones back home. It wasn’t easy saying goodbye to all of my friends in Oxford when we all left for Christmas break and recently saying goodbye to my family and friends in Louisiana. A few days ago I left Louisiana to come to my dad’s here in California since that is where we will be getting on the bus to head to the ship in Ensenada, Mexico. Gosh, it was so hard saying goodbye to my mom and my best friend who came and sat with me while I packed.

Honestly, getting ready for a big thing like this was kind of an emotional rollercoaster. The deadlines. Oh the deadlines.. The paper work. The doctors visits AND THE SHOTS. The errands. The complications. The lists. The goodbyes. All of these things were exhausting but in the end, going to be so worth it. I could not be more excited for the journey that is to come and share my experiences with you. Not only is this going to be an experience of a lifetime, but also a period of growth and self-discovery (lol cheesy but true). All of my life I have wanted to take a leap like this, but have managed to come up with excuses until now. It is time to finally do and not just talk about doing it.

 

xx, Catherine

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