Preparations for a Traveler: Lessons Learned On the Road

Pack-Your-Bags-5-Rules-to-Follow-When-Packing-for-a-Big-Vacation-ImageBy Anna Concannon — From Milwaukee to Chicago to Seattle to Los Angeles to Chicago to Kenosha to Cape Town… I’ve already had quite the bustling summer of travel.

In a week from now, I will be in Cape Town, South Africa studying abroad for a month. It is exhilarating to me how soon this trip is approaching, because a few months ago it felt as though the time would never come.

I’m the kind of person who gets antsy when life remains stagnant. During the semester, I had a routine of going to class and doing homework; bike riding, watching Netflix, and seeing friends only when time permitted. But I wasn’t always happy because I craved adventure and excitement. However, I didn’t do much to seek it.

Two weeks ago I embarked on a journey with my brother and his girlfriend, two dear people to me. We went on a road trip from Seattle, where they live, to Los Angeles, camping along the gorgeous coasts of Oregon and California. We saw beautiful sights and we experienced great times with family. I had just the adventure I needed to prepare my state of mind for my next voyage across the world to South Africa.

Of course, when on a road trip, young adults typically have a sort of revelation and “learn something about themselves.”

However cliché it is to admit, I did learn something about life. Small, mundane events in life are all a part of a larger adventure. Just as the nightly card tournament on the camping trip was a small aspect that contributed to an amazing experience of a journey I had with two great people, similarly going to school and studying late into the night both add up to the fact that I am pursuing higher education  to become a teacher someday. To me, when put that way, that’s pretty incredible.

So now, as I prepare to venture off to South Africa for three short weeks, I look forward to soaking it all up and appreciating every little thing I encounter. Through service, the museum trips, hiking, exploring, and reading, I’ll be learning everything I can about the culture. Hopefully my experience there will teach me to do the same when I come back home, to regard the small things in life as a part of a much larger adventure.

________________________________

Anna Concannon  is a new blogger for Summer 2014!  Originally from Pleasant Prairie, WI, she is currently a junior studying elementary education and sociology.  Anna loves working with children, spending time with family and friends, and traveling! This summer, she will be studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa for a three-week Women’s and Gender Studies program.

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