Tuesday, January 22, 2013

[Life] 10 Years

10 years. That's how long it's been since I started on the trip of a lifetime. The trip that changed me and that changed my world. It seems like just yesterday, and some days I wish with all my heart that I could be back there for just one day.

January 21, 2003, I embarked on a 3 and a half month journey by ship around the world on Semester At Sea. The program is a study abroad for collegiate students, taking about 650 students, plus 30 teachers and administrators, plus 30ish lifetime learners and 250 staff, around the world in a semester. Students spend their days at sea taking courses, including a class called "Core", which teaches them about the next country the ship will dock in. The ship from my voyage in Spring 2003 was a refashioned 1970s cruise ship, where we would eat, sleep, play, learn, and live, though while in port students are free to come and go as they please and can travel as they like in the allotted time the ship is docked.

10 years ago I had just spent my first night aboard the SS Universe Explorer.

I packed my life into 2 suitcases...

I spent 2 days in the Bahamas with my family...

And saw the ship in port waiting for us...

Met a girl named Sarah at Happy Hour the day before we left (little did I know she'd become one of my best friends and someone who I'd still be in contact with 10 years later). 

Boarded the ship...

(Sarah is in the middle in the next pic)

 And we said goodbye to our families....

It all began here. 108 days. 9 countries. 4 continents. 10 ports. 5 girls I would become inseparable from.

1 amazing, life altering experience.

Excerpts from my journal:

January 21, 2003
"When they took the plank away, and then the ropes, it started to feel just a little more real."

January 22, 2003
"Woke up bright and early....crashed into the wall and almost fell off the ladder coming out of bed. It's going to take awhile to get used to the movement of the ship."

Over the course of the next few months, I'll be dedicating certain posts to more about this amazing experience. Keep an eye out!


  1. Can't wait to hear more about this. It sounds like such an amazing experience!

    The Tiny Heart
    January Group Giveaway!

  2. Wow so amazing!!! Excited to read more! :)

  3. i had a friend who did semester at sea!! i totally regret not doing something similar!


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