Why am I a geographer? I didn’t set out to be. I was starting my second semester of college, and I was at a crossroads. I knew I didn’t want to pursue a history degree, as I had originally planned, and I remembered hearing good things from people I trusted about geography, so I signed up for a few classes—and was hooked. A few months later, … Continue reading Intern Introduction: Evan Gover
My name is Michelle Renn and from now through August I’ll be interning at National Geographic and contributing to the My Wonderful World blog.
The fact is: I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe that we truly live in a wonderful world. All throughout my childhood I was fortunate to travel a lot with my family. We traveled domestically and internationally, often taking road trips across the country in the summers. We camped along the way, exploring National Parks, big cities, small towns– and everything in between. I learned from a young age that travel is about the journey, not just the destination. In retrospect, I entirely credit my parents with instilling in me a profound desire for exploration. Once I was exposed to a taste of new places, cultures, languages, and foods, the curiosity was unstoppable. I began to realize what a very large world we live in, and I became determined to experience as much of it as I could.
My love for exploration is likely what attracted me to Geography as a major in college. The breadth and depth of the discipline is miraculous, comprising everything from studies of humans and cultures, mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), environmental issues and systems, and physical attributes of the Earth. Geography is the exploration of people, cultures, the environment, and the intersections among them— it is an exploration of the planet we all share. I couldn’t stay away. 🙂
This morning when I sat down to brainstorm for a new Five for Friday post, only one thing came to mind: Where in the world is Lauren P.? My dear friend recently “set sail” on a semester long voyage, and today as I let my mind wander, my thoughts drifted to Lauren and her adventure. A series of images: Lauren finagling some feisty camel on the deserts of Egypt, Lauren tilted ever so slightly to one side, posing for a photo in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Lauren belly dancing and exclaiming over the spicy foods of Casablanca, Morocco.
Lauren, someone who couldn’t choose just ONE place to study abroad, decided to embark on an academic journey by boat around the Mediterranean. This summer she will study along side a couple hundred other students on a fully equipped cruise ship as she travels port to port. An adventure she will surely remember!
And so with goofy tourist hats and big ships on my mind, I realized, why wouldn’t my blog topic travel across the Atlantic? Here on the MWW blog, we talk about global travel and international learning a lot. Living and learning for a semester abroad can change your world view. Your perspectives become global, your experiences international and quite possibly your language proficiency advanced. Study abroad programs are much more accessible and inexpensive than some may think, and now with the anticipated passage of the Simon Act international academic programs will hopefully be offered to many more students.