Hi everyone! I want to thank you for the wonderful responses to my two latest essays. It took me a while to write both and it was a great process of growth and introspection.
I have a third essay in the works, but I’m not sure when I can publish it because…drum roll…..I’m leaving for Europe in seven days!!!! I’m going to England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France with Bethel University as part of a semester abroad for English majors. We leave on August 20 and we return December 5.
I am incredibly excited to take this journey, but I’m also very nervous. I’ve never been so far away from home and family for so long, but I know I’ll have a group of friends and some awesome chaperones looking out for us.
One of the primary reasons I’m excited for this trip isn’t necessarily the rich literature or even the picturesque locations. I’ve come to believe that much of how we identify ourselves is determined by our environment. For example, I go to Bethel University, I work out at The Athlete Lab and attend Woodland Hills church. I am surrounded by certain family and friends that I spend a majority of my time with. But if I remove myself entirely from all of those contexts, what is left? Who am I in a new place, with different people? I am going to Europe not to discover historical authors or ancient ruins, but to understand my present self at my core.
I do want to post travel updates, but I don’t want to simply share the facts of where I am and what I see. Those may be rich and interesting, but I want to share how each experience resonates with me and shapes or mirrors my perception of myself. I am excited to see where this journey takes me and share my insights with you!
Bon voyage 🏴💜