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Photo by Sampor Burke, Mekong Semester.

Hello!

Hey everyone! I am absolutely ecstatic for the coming journey up the Mekong. I’ve been having the dreams that only occur right before a trip long awaited for. Dreams like forgetting my passport, and not setting the alarm clock in time to get to the airport. I was so excited when I saw other people involved in the program starting to post. I’m overjoyed to learn a little about some of the people who will become my travel companions, fellow explorers, and friends through these coming months. I bet others feel the same way, so here’s a little about me.

Today I am talking from Asheville, North Carolina. Along the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s wet outside, we’ve had freezing weather for the last couple of days, and it smells like early spring. I’m 7 days away from graduating high school and 3 days away from turning 18. I learned that I had the opportunity to graduate early at the beginning of last year and immediately started looking for opportunities to travel. A teammate on my Roller Derby team was preparing for her trip to Bolivia and Peru on a Dragon’s semester. I took a look at some of the programs and was sold on the idea.

I honestly can’t imagine a better way to begin my adult life then stepping into cultures I don’t know, with people I don’t know, and to learn how to adapt and appreciate the differences and similarities between the way people live around the world. I can’t wait to meet the people who I will share these experiences with. I want to walk into the world and let go of the little fears I have and see what it really means to live my life, rather than go through the steps of life.

I was born in Atlanta, Georgia and moved to Burnsville, North Carolina when I was 3. I lived on a large property with my parents, younger brother, sister, and two other families that are close family friends. My best friend Chloe and I built forts in the woods, picked blackberries, and went mud sledding down my driveway when it rained. It was a happy childhood. I moved to Asheville when I was 7 and that’s when I began to travel more often. My mom is from Denmark so we traveled there to see family once a year. The first time I ever went out of the country without my family, I went to Mexico with my dance company. We stayed at a house in Merida, owned by the owners of the dance studio. I had never experienced a culture so different from mine but I truly loved everything about the lifestyle and I had officially caught the travel bug.

Again, I can not wait to join everyone in LA and begin this adventure. I’m beginning to pull everything together, and it’s becoming less of a dream and more of a reality with every bridge crossed. I will see you all soon!

Much love!
Izzy