1232 Nautical Miles Later

The amount of puke on this ship….

Not the greatest way to start my update, but I wanted to be authentic. We left the QEII Southampton terminal three hours early. Our captain got on the PA and said we were departing early to avoid a storm. That was fine with all of us; little did we know we weren’t quite in the clear. As the swells rose, the barf bags opened up. The crew put them all throughout the ship, on every floor and staircase. At first, those feeling the queasy first ran to the bathroom. But after an hour or two, no one cared. People would just walk around throwing up EVERYWHERE! Whether it made into a bag or onto the carpet, that was the least of their worries. Not to mention they did not care about grossing anyone out cause EVERYONE was doing it. That continued for all of orientation day, and by lunch, half the people were back in their beds. Not the greatest first day at sea but we managed. I was one of the few who didn’t get sick, but I’d be lying if I said I was feeling my best. Finally, we’ve started to earn our sea legs.

Now finally we’re finding calmer seas. Today was the first day that we were allowed to go outside! I snuck down to the gym in the morning before they told us we could (yes the gym can only be accessed in nice weather, but don’t ask me why cause I didn’t design the ship)! Everyone is outside soaking the sun in. The water is so blue, and we’re still only in the Atlantic. I can’t wait until we get to the Mediterranean! Supposedly it’s supposed to pretty or something…

Life on the sea is not that bad. During the storm, I’m pretty sure there were people regretting boarding, thinking it was going to be that bad the whole time, but honestly when it’s smooth, being on a ship is magical. Knowing that you (meaning the ship) are completely alone. Knowing that there is a world underneath you, one you can only begin to understand, but yet it lives completely independent from the human world. Knowing that besides the ocean, there are countless of other places to see, and you happen to be in a vessel capable of taking you to those places. I only wish that I could do this for the rest of my life.

You might be wondering how a tech-free life is: I thought I’d be hard to be without a phone, and trust me, at times it is. But honestly you become a better person without your phone. You listen to people, you talk to people, you reflect on things that actually matter. Everyone knows that the only people that can entertain you are right here on this boat, so they go out and develop a real relationship. And as for the teachers: From drinking with your professor to hanging with their families, they become people you want to learn from and people you respect. Who can say that about their educators?

Tonight we crossed through the Strait of Gibraltar, which, for those of you won’t aren’t familiar, is the entrance to the Mediterranean from the west. Everyone was outside on the decks in the sunset looking at southern Spain to our left and Morocco on our right. Just like a dream, dolphins came to greet us to the Med and played in our wake. It was an unforgettable moment.

We still have 1 ½ days at sea before we reach Italy, but with the sea under my feet and the sun in the sky, I’m perfectly content in this moment. I have to give a big shout out to my big bro on his 23rd birthday! Sending my love across the ocean!

And so… the ADVENTURE begins

This is real. It’s happening.

Two years ago, I learned about Semester At Sea. A year ago I applied. Then several months ago I was accepted. Even then it wasn’t a reality; only a distant dream. Nothing could have prepared me for how I’m feeling right now. Anxious, excited, and totally freaked. I am a 20 year old traveling 3 different continents, on a BOAT! It’s just insane. But I guess I’ve always been a little crazy.

I am so beyond lucky to call what I will be doing for the next semester “school”. Not only will I have the opportunity to meet new students and the coolest professors, or take the most unique and travel focused courses, but I get to see 10 different countries over the course of 100 days. Who else gets to say that??

Traveling, in my opinion, holds no value unless you can share it with others. Being with 650 other students just isn’t enough for me, so I thought to start a blog. I want to share it with those back home. Without all of you, I wouldn’t have the courage or ability to take this on. So thank you!

Now sit back, relax, and keep refreshing your browsers. It’s gonna be one hell of a boat ride!