Marissa Meyers - January 12, 2016
"Travel just isn’t my thing.” Have you ever heard those words before?
I have and part of me is confused and part of me feels sad.
Oftentimes, people haven’t had the opportunity to lose themselves
within the realms of cultural immersion in a land far different from
their own. To unequivocally lose yourself can often times be the
beginning of the journey to actually finding your place in the world;
this is my story anyway.
I was someone who fell in the category of those lacking the chance to
travel. When I was 20 years old, I had the opportunity to study abroad
in Ireland. I had never been on a plane in my life and was now
embarking on a yearlong journey that would take me completely out of
my comfort zone. While the year I spent in Ireland was one of the most
challenging years of my life, my experience living abroad allowed me
to push myself further than I ever thought possible. There were times
when I felt lost, but it was the cultural experiences around me that
allowed me to find who I truly was without the influence of my
My trip to Ireland helped me realize how much there is to see in the
world. Every time I step back on a plane, I can close my eyes and
envision the colors, smells, languages, and customs of my next
adventure. The euphoria I get from traveling has driven me to continue
traveling as much as I can as an American who works too much and has
too little vacation.
From that first flight to Ireland almost five years ago, I have now
been to 20 countries with the goal of getting to 50 countries by 50.
Considering my track record, I’m on a trajectory that will surely get
me to reach this lofty goal. At the very least, I aim to leave the
country at least once per year and have been doing this successfully since 2010.
With the help of my study abroad advisor at Rosemont, I was able to
redefine who I am. My travel experiences live through me in my daily
life and challenge me to learn more about the world and how I can make
I’ll close by asking you to follow me on this journey
that started just about five years ago and ride along with me to my
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it
hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes
you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your
consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something
with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”-Anthony Bourdain