Welcome back to those of you that have been following my travels this year. I'm back today because there has not been a day, a week, or a month that I have not thought/dreamed about my half a year experience in Spain with my host family! There isn't anything that I don't miss...my study abroad crew from located all over the U.S., my fantastic study abroad director abroad, my hectic, non-stop class schedule, my high days and my low days, my good Spanish days and my bad ones, my nightmare experience under the Eiffel Tower in France, the crazy nights that turned into mornings, and  of course my Moroccan host family and the language barrier that was a challenge everyday to cross with them!

Hi again to all you new follows:) My name is Genevieve and I do have a confession to make: I am an avid traveler and amateur photographer! TRAVEL: because I am obsessed with people, language, and culture and PHOTOGRAPHY: because I feel most comfortable looking through life in a frame, to capture all of the beauty Life has to offer. My confession is something I need to admit to all of YOU and to Enrichment Voyages and Camels and Chocolate [http://www.camelsandchocolate.com/2012/08/enrichment-voyages-cruise-giveaway/], who are sharing a FOUR WEEK (25 day long) ship trip with one lucky person and their guest.

I sacrificed my final semester of undergrad to pursue my dreams to live and study in a Spanish speaking country. During my time this year (2012) so far I visited numerous cities in Spain, France, Portugal, and participated in an exchange program in Morocco in AFRICA, all the while intensely studying Spanish at the Estudios Hispanicos level (with native speakers!) and also chose to start a new adventure with a 2nd foreign language, French! When I was finished with the semester I turned around nearly 9 days later (after returning home to the states to see my family) to hop on another flight to tour Holland & the Netherlands--this time not to delve into pages and pages of other language but to learn about another culture through sport--to compete at the professional/international level on a USA sponsored women's volleyball team (traveling with USA Athletes International Travel.Compete.Experience) with a men's team. Mainly through on the court interactions, music, fashion, food, national sporting events, and travel/tours/competitions in different cities, I fell in love with yet another country and active (definitely an understatement) culture.

[To finish my high school career in 2008 I had my very first opportunity to tour overseas with my Club Fusion 18-1 volleyball team to tour, travel, and compete at 17 years of age neighboring the Eastern bloc in Maribor, Slovenia, Munich and another city in Germany, Vienna, Austria, and Prague, Czech Republic.]

2012 alone has been a great journey for me, but honestly, I don't want it to stop there! Now that I've graduated (I chose to sacrifice attending my own graduation ceremony that to many symbolizes the induction/right of passage into the real world), I have my sights set on new endeavors (graduate school after 1 year of working part-time, soul-searching, interning/volunteer work, growing personally, [and returning overseas?!]) and always desperately wish that they could take me back abroad! But am simultaneously asking myself, how can I do it all at once?? How can I: Make money, save money, grow as a person, challenge myself on a daily basis, gain appropriate experience, pursue further studies, AND fulfill my innerself's need to be outside of the walls of this America? When I started to see the Facebook activity of fellow Facebook friends this week publicizing about this 25-day opportunity my emotions went haywire. I had to do something! I don't have much luck when it comes to contests where winners are drawn, etc. and majority of the time am blessed with clumsiness, but I figured there would be no harm in trying.

My next journey of choice would most definitely be to South America. Of course world wonders and fascinations exist in the US but other there, I know and believe that there's more. So why Latin America? So my Spanish speaking abilities would be freshened up and put to use, of course, but also to accept a new challenge!  When I choose to travel it's not simply to set foot in another part of the world, it is more so to study and immerse myself in another culture...to the point where I can become familiar with it, understand it, and learn to love it because it becomes second nature/natural. Not all Spanish-speaking countries are the same! For reasons they may/may not like to admit. That would be the biggest challenge. & I am willing to accept that. I feel to fully understand the culture of the general umbrella of the Spanish language itself I need to explore and identify with all Latin/Hispanic cultures and regions.

For now my travel is limited to the city centers of the southwest Chicago suburbs, into the heart of Chicago itself, short family vacas (we just returned from the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri with some family friends) and into the depths of my imagination..where there are no limits. The places I have yet to discover I travel in my daily thoughts and dreams at night!

So I guess the biggest question that stands now is would I drop everything that I'm doing currently/have planned for December 8, 2012 - January 2, 2013 to embark on a trip that I have no doubts would change my life and tempt me to challenge the myth that we only get one chance to fall in love? Just try me, of course I would. :) & When I think about the specified detail of 'as a trip for 2' it could be a rather gracious gift for the 2 people in the world that brought me into it...there are always options.

A Final, Closing Note about the Enrichment Voyage: I have LIKED both pages on Facebook as well as mentioned both pages in a recent status, followed both accounts on Twitter @genevievelygirl & tweeted the designated catch phrase, commented on the listed site with the correct answer to the question of "How many passengers can the MV Explorer accommodate?", and have now blogged about it. I would Pin it but I don't have a Pinterest account :/ with all of the social media sites I am currently using would prefer to keep it that way.

 


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