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Photo by Catherine Von Holt, Nepal Semester.

Hello and “Why We Travel” Response

Hey! My name is Brita and I’m from Cambridge MA. I graduated from high school last year and decided to take a gap year to see the world a little bit more  and get a different sort of education before starting college. This summer, I worked at a hiking lodge in upstate New York and I just got back from a backpacking trip with my family in Alaska, which was amazing. I love being in the outdoors, so I’m super excited for the trekking part of the course! I’ve never been anywhere close to Nepal before, so I’m really looking forward to exploring it this fall!

Can’t wait to meet everyone! 🙂

“We travel, then, in search of both self and anonymity and, of course, in finding the one we apprehend the other…And precisely because we are clarified in this way, and freed of inessential labels, we have the opportunity to come into contact with more essential parts of ourselves (which may begin to explain why we may feel most alive when far from home).”

At home, it is difficult to change and grow as a person. We are constantly weighed down by the expectations of our family and friends, the people who have known us for years and know exactly what we are like. Additionally, it is too easy to get dragged into the monotony of school and work, never meeting anyone new or trying anything different. There is never any pressure to leave our comfort zones. In contrast, there is nothing further outside our comfort zones than going to a radically different place with strangers. When you go to a new place, there is nothing  there to remind you who you are supposed to be or how you are supposed to behave. You are stripped from all the superficialities that cling to your skin at home and you are forced to once again engage in all aspects of yourself. As Iyer writes, there is nothing that makes you feel more alive.