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Anchors Aweigh: Voyages past, into the future

8 December 2013 By Amber Cope, Columnist One Comment
Courtesy of Amber Cope

Courtesy of Amber Cope

One hundred and fifteen days, 16 countries, three continents and a lifetime of memories. In just a few days, my voyage on the MV Explorer will come to a conclusion.

With only eight days and one country to go, my time with Semester at Sea is coming to a bittersweet end.

Tomorrow I arrive in Havana, Cuba. A country very few are able to visit, filled with misconceptions. The first day will be spent at the University of Havana. I’ll tour the college, listen to lectures on contemporary issues of US-Cuba relations and talk with university students.  The next two days will be dedicated to exploring the city and soaking up its rich history and culture.

I’ve made many close friends in a short period of time. Seeing them every day for months makes saying goodbye all the more difficult.

It’s comforting to know that I now have friends not only all over the United States but all over the world.

In such a short period of time, I’ve had the fortunate experience of seeing the world in a new lens. This journey has been as much about self-discovery as has it been about cultural exposure. This experience taught me how capable I am to travel on my own and navigate the world.

This ship has been my home for the past four months, it has been the vessel that has transported ideas, dreams and wishes across oceans and opened the hearts of many, including my own. Though my classroom has been on the ship, the world has been my campus.

I’ve learned the most rewarding aspect of traveling was the people I met along the way, whether it’s the man next to me on the train in Morocco, or a brilliant 10 year-old Ghanaian boy from a small village.

I know my next voyage will begin once I step off the ship and return back home, back to Towson and back to my classes.

I only hope that what I’ve learned I can bring to fruition, and continue the mission of Semester at Sea.

One Comment »

  • Towson Study Abroad said:

    Thanks for sharing your insights this semester, Amber! We’re loving the updates from the MV Explorer.

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