To say that I am excited to study abroad in Iceland would be an understatement. I cannot wait get on the plane, and travel for 7+ hours to reach my destination. This unique chance to study abroad is an opportunity that many do not have the option nor the desire to do. For me, this chance is a once in a lifetime experience that I hope will be impactful and inspiring, and will shape my life in the future. I believe that traveling and being witness to different cultures and different people is one of the best ways to gain a better, broader understanding of the world and all of the moving pieces that are held within it. In my previous experiences in other countries, each one has shaped me in a different way and caused me to think about my life and other people’s lives in a new way. Studying abroad is a chance to see our dynamic world at play, and to enrich my own life and others lives that may not have had a chance to meet many people from other countries.
A strong part of my personal identity has always come from where I am living, as having a sense of place strongly resonates with me. To me, a sense of place means somewhere that I draw inspiration from and want to explore, and that has people and opportunities that make me feel safe and valued. First, this place was where I grew up, in rural California. When I moved, I added Colorado Springs to that list of places. In going to college, I found a third home at Rollins, and another in Alaska where I had an internship over the summer. These are not the only places that hold a piece of my heart, and I hope to add more to this list of cities and areas that I draw inspiration from. In Iceland, I believe that the unique topography, the people I will be traveling with, and the opportunities in expanding my knowledge will make it another area that I consider to be a home to me, where I feel a sense of place. I cannot thank Rollins enough for this amazing opportunity to be able to go and live abroad for a whole semester, and learn valuable lessons both in and out of school.