all my fears and worries about leaving home for three months, my struggles with preparing for the journey and what may happen when I return. I want first to send a thank you to all of my friends who have taken similar journeys and who have told me that this crushing, gut wrenching, nail biting anxiety prior to departing on such an adventure is perfectly normal. Second I want to note that today's post is not about any of that. Today's post is about the things I am excited, or at least trying to be excited, about on this journey.
What am I looking forward to while spending three months on Semester at Sea?
1. Only having to focus on one thing. My life is a constant whirlwind. I am usually working two jobs, going to school, running a troupe, rehearsing for a show, performing in a show, prepping to teach a class, teaching a class or doing one of the many necessary life things we need to do to survive (eat, sleep, have a social life, etc.). I live and die by my calendar. When I board the World Odyssey all of this stops. I will only have school and the trip to focus on. I have heard that Semester at Sea students have a jam packed schedule but I have a feeling to me it will seem like a break.
2. Crossing the Atlantic, the equator (twice!) and going through the Panama Canal. Yes, I am thrilled to visit 10 different countries but really, one could fly to any of the places I am visiting should one choose to do so. Not many of us have the opportunity to do a transatlantic sea journey. I am looking forward to seeing the sun and moon rise and set above the sea. I am eager to look up to the sky and gaze upon stars I've never seen before. And the Panama Canal has fascinated me ever since I was a child. These are three once in a lifetime things that most of us will never have a chance to do. I am so lucky that I get to experience this.
3. Visiting 10 different countries (England, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Senegal, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica). Well, DUH! I'll be spending four to six days in each and while that is really only enough time to offer a taste of each, I hope to experience something special in each. I know this will be the experience of a lifetime.
4. The classes. All students are required to take four classes on board the ship. I will be taking Global Music, Conservation of Natural Resources, Travel Writing Workshop and Drawing at Sea. I am particularly excited about the Global Music course as we will be spending a day in Morocco with the organizers of the Visa for Music Festival. I'll be with students from around the world and learning from professors I'd not otherwise have the opportunity to study with.
5. Stepping outside of my comfort zone. This might seem to be a bit of a surprise coming from someone prone to anxiety as I am but I actually do enjoy new experiences, even if they scare me a little. I hope to return having conquered a few of my fears or at least having learned to live with them .
6. Sharing this adventure with all of you. I am a writer and I express myself best through the written word. I will be keeping this blog up to date at least bi-weekly. I'll also be writing a column for the University of Southern Maine student paper, The Free Press. Those who contributed to the GoFundMe campaign (and who shared their email address with me) will also receive special updates via email. It will make me feel like I have all of you with me on this journey.
I am trying to keep all of these things in mind as I prepare for the trip. There is still so much to do, textbooks to be purchase, funds to be set aside and a million other worries but after all of this is done, and it will get done, I have an incredible adventure ahead of me. I am eager for it to begin.