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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Gallier

Semester at Sea: One Year Later

Updated: Apr 17, 2019

One year ago I over packed two large duffel bags, flew to San Diego and hopped on a bus to Mexico to begin one of the best experiences of my life (so far at least ;). It seems like just yesterday that I was drowning in a sea of a paperwork and wondering if the trip was even going to happen, and now I’m a Semester at Sea alumna. That’s really freakin’ weird.

I know I look exactly the same but this was before I even boarded the ship, ahh I’m such a baby. Also Axe’ Em Jacks and RIP my favorite jeans.

I can’t even begin to explain how the voyage impacted me without turning into an incomprehensible mush-ball. That’s the thing about life-changing experiences- trying to explain them to people who haven’t experienced them is nearly impossible. How do you tell someone how an experience changed you when it will never stop changing you? When it will shape how you look at and interact with the world forever?

(Although here are some of the ways it has changed me so far if you want to give that a read: How Semester at Sea Changed Me)

No, Semester at Sea is not the kind of adventure that you simply “come back” from. I never came back, at least in the sense that I am not the same person that I was before I left. I’m more sure of what I want and don’t want in life and realizing a seemingly impossible dream has turned me into a hopeful monster because I refuse to settle for less. Call me naive, but I still think “Impossible” is a state of mind.

That being said, dreams don’t happen simply because you want them to. They take hard work, long days, and a little risk. Currently I am back in the “Saving money” phase of the travel cycle (because of course SAS wiped out my savings big time).

I’m also in the sub-section of the travel cycle which is, “researching the crap out of all the stuff & thangs” (Yes that’s a Walking Dead reference and I have no shame). I am currently googling all the things and looking for ways to get back out into the world and write more things about it. Hey, Google led me to SAS so it’s a good start. And yes I realize I said “things” a lot, get over it.

Right now, my future is a brightly colored but vague blob. It’s basically one of those paint-splattered modern paintings- I don’t really know what it means yet or where exactly I’m going with it, but I’m the artist and I get to splatter it with whatever paint makes me happy. I don’t really need anyone to understand it.

Just like this camel didn’t understand why I was doing this. Or maybe he just wasn't having any of my shit… :’D

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