Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I've been reading up on it and I think it is time to go. Anyone feeling adventurous?
See beyond Seoul, South Korea.
We could road trip Korea.
We can teach English there.
Some say S. Korea is the second best place to teach English in.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Michigan, New York, California, D.C., Spain, France, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia. That’s quite a list.
It’s even more impressive once you find out that’s the list of places that Sarah Weaver, a junior from Overland Park, visited over just a few months last year when taking a semester off.
Fall of 2009 became her time to take a break from school and travel the world. But it wasn’t necessarily what she had planned for that time of her life.
“Taking a semester off wasn’t a goal of mine, it just happened,” she said.
A series of events fell into place to create around seven months of pure adventure.
But this idea of adventure in epic proportions was not something Weaver was born into, as many might think when meeting her. Family vacations were never extensive or out of the ordinary.
“No cruises, no Mexico, no Hawaii,” she said. “We went to Florida once and we drove."
It wasn’t until 15 year-old Weaver decided to go on a summer camp all by herself in Colorado for a month that the travel bug was really instilled in her. Through this camp, with a Christian organization called Young Life, she was able to meet peers from all over the country, and began making connections that led to future travel plans.
Then, the time for making a college choice came around, and although Weaver’s growing adventurous spirit called for her to go out-of-state, KU’s appealing prices and extensive study abroad opportunities helped seal the decision to stay close to home.
Weaver took advantage of one of KU’s study abroad program in Italy last summer, just after finishing her freshman year. She gave herself time before and after for travel in Italy and throughout the continent, and began to really experience the incredible beauty the world has to offer. Her passion for spontaneous travel, though, began when she was traveling in Spain with a friend from the program in Italy.
“He wanted to go running with the bulls, I said, ‘O.K.,’ and next thing I know, we’re taking a bus from Barcelona,” she said. “It just was crazy!”
In Pamplona, Spain, where she in fact did run with bulls, she began to realize her endeavors as true adventures.
“Everyday is an adventure,” she said. “You wake up everyday and ask, ‘what’s on my agenda?’ You don’t have anything to do. You have to eat because you’re hungry, you drink because it’s fun, you explore the city, go to sleep and do it all over again.”
She had originally planned to go to Italy on a program that summer, then start another one of KU’s programs in the fall, the Western Civilization program in Florence Italy, and Paris, France. She ended up deciding to nix the semester program in Europe and opted for Capenwray Bible School in New Zealand after visiting her best friend from high school attending Moody Bible Institute in Chicago earlier that year. Her plan was to come back from Europe for the rest of her summer, baby-sit, and save up before her adventure down under. But after returning home for a short stint (a mere four days), Weaver couldn’t stand the suburban bore of her parent’s house, and decided to keep the adventure going as a camp volunteer for Young Life in California between programs.
“Things just fell into place. One moment, I was doing the Western Civ program, and the next, I was going to Bible School in New Zealand.”
Bible School, however, didn’t make the cut after meeting a group of adventurous Australians touring New Zealand on a bus. She stayed in school for less than a week before deciding to jump ship from school and jump on a bus with those Australians. The semester became full of more spontaneous travel.
So even though Weaver’s life as a world traveler started just recently, after all, the idea of adventure might have been something instilled in Weaver from a much earlier age, as a piece of artwork from the 5th grade seemed to showcase. During a celebration for her graduation from high school, her mom decided to display some of these past masterpieces for all to see, and Weaver recalls catching something she had never noticed after returning from her super adventure. The piece she remembers was for a star-of-the-week-type, with magazine cutouts of things that she thought, at the time, described her. Of course, silly, 5th-grade-girl stereotypes showed up like a puppy and a telephone, but a suitcase and a picture of Australia made their way on the collage alongside. It seems Weaver’s adventurous life was foretold from an early age.
So will we have to play a spin on “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” for our own Sarah Weaver in the near future?
“First, I’d love to know,” she said. “I just don’t want to be in an office three years from now looking at my seven month stint as, ‘that was it.’ I hope it is the beginning of a life full of adventures.”