The last time I traveled in an airplane was eight years ago for my greatgrandmother’s 90th birthday in South Carolina.
The only time I’ve ever traveled internationally was to Canada seven years ago – which doesn’t really count because it’s Canada and this was before they even required a passport card to cross the border.
Long story short, I’m not a huge traveler.
My family has never been big on travel aside from the occasional summer vacation trip, and I never really showed much interest in the travel programs here at Gannon before this year.
I guess I just figured that I didn’t have the time because of my accelerated program and I didn’t really have the budget because college is expensive enough as it is.
I also think there was a small part of me that was a little bit scared as well, mostly because I have never really traveled before and I didn’t want to be put out of my comfort zone.
I’ve written many columns that all have an underlying theme about how I don’t deal well with change, and how I don’t like to try new things because I may not like them or I may not be good at them.
However, I’ve also written a number of recent columns discussing how this past year has been monumental for me in terms of change and personal growth, so with embracing this transformation, I’ve also decided to embrace the idea of travel.
The first trip that I knew I absolutely wanted to go on was the biology department’s trip to Yellowstone National Park.
Now I wouldn’t quite say that I’m a particularly outdoorsy person, so in many ways, this trip will definitely be putting me out of my comfort zone.
But from the stories and reactions I’ve gathered from other students who have gone on the trip, I knew that this was something that I couldn’t pass up.
I’ve never had the opportunity to travel out west, let alone to one of our nation’s prestigious national parks, and if I don’t go on this trip now, I know I never will.
Rather, I won’t be able to go on this trip and have the same experience as I will through this opportunity at Gannon.
As if committing to traveling to the opposite end of the country wasn’t enough change for me, I somehow ended up committing to an international trip as well.
After hearing really positive things about Gannon’s Alternative Break Service Trips (ABST) I decided to look into the possibility of going on one over spring break.
After receiving the whole spiel about how life-changing this experience would be and how I absolutely had to go on one, I decided to just jump head first and sign up for the Guatemala trip.
Fast forward five months and I’m now preparing for my Guatemala trip, which is just days away.
In less than two weeks I’ll be leaving campus, flying for the first time in eight years and traveling internationally for the first time.
I won’t know anyone when I get there, I won’t have any bearings for the area and I won’t speak the language.
Basically, I’m a hot mess of stress about this whole thing, and although I’m still looking forward to the trip, my nervous-to-excited ratio is dangerously one-sided at this point.
At the end of this all I know is that we’ll get there safe, it’ll be an amazing experience and everything will be fine.
So to all you loyal Gannon Knight readers, look out for a positive travel article in a few weeks and just embrace this whining, nervous column for the time being.