It is officially two weeks until I leave for San Diego on the alternative spring break trip. Two weeks until I go on a trip for a week to a place I have no recollection of with a group of people I do not know. I could not be more excited about it. Growing up in Cheyenne, I went to junior high, high school, and now college with many of the same people I have known since I was in kindergarten. Over the last several years of my life I have generally, taken in the same sights day in and day out. I have actually done a great deal of traveling in my life, but mostly to see family in Texas, Alabama, Maryland and so forth…. all of which were under the protection of my parents. Even when I went to New York City in high school with my theater class, it was with classmates I was very familiar with and was chaperoned by a teacher I had known for years.
This trip is going to be a completely different experience from my previous travels for several reasons. First, I get to travel with and meet new people. On this trip, I will be traveling with people I have only met a handful of times, which to me, is what traveling is all about. Since I have been at UW, there have been many opportunities for me to take trips similar to this one, but none of them were ever feasible or timely. So, this is going to be the one college trip where I really get to explore.
Second, because it’s more than just a fun trip to somewhere warmer, it’s a trip where everyone will also give back. Aside from being able to spend spring break in San Diego with a great group of people, we will also have the opportunity to take part in several service projects in the surrounding areas. These projects will include planting native species and removing invasive species in Border Field State Park and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and installing guide ropes and benches around Otay Lakes.
Third, it’s my last spring break at UW. That’s right, I will be graduating soon. I honestly cannot think of any better way to spend my final spring break than exploring and helping to restore some of America’s greatest sights. The combination makes, this opportunity an exciting adventure for me, and hopefully something you will think about doing in the future.
In addition to what I have just mentioned, I am excited to take this trip for another reason. This will be my very first time acting as an embedded journalist, meaning I will not only take part in the trip and the service projects, but I will also be blogging about my experiences while on the trip and formally reporting on it once we have returned. In the next two weeks leading up to the trip, I will be giving you an inside look into what were are doing to prepare before we leave and I will give you the chance to meet some of the other participants and team leaders in the program. While we are away, I will continue to give you an inside look at the work we are doing, what we have learned, and our overall experiences as we take in the surrounding sites and activities. The Alternative Spring Break mission states: “The Alternative Breaks Program provides unique opportunities where students can address local and global issues they are passionate about through direct service and education. Furthermore, AB provides an outlet for students to develop leadership skills and a commitment to service, promoting future leaders.” Taking this into account, I cannot wait to share with you what I learn, who I meet, and what I take away from this experience.
I’ll be checking in soon and I hope you follow along as I prepare to say hello to San Diego.