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Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.


I want to start off by saying how unbelievably excited, scared, motivated, and anxious I am to begin this journey with my fellows in Group B! To you all, I say hi. Born and raised in a suburb outside of Washington D.C, I come from a very active family that lives and breathes adventure. Finishing my first year at Princeton University where I play on the women’s basketball team, I thought that my life needed an intervention – one where I can do the untraditional and experience the new! My entire life before has been about sports and academics – it was all very much a routine and one that tired me out.

This year for me has largely been about self-growth and stepping very far out of my comfort zone. I heard about this amazing program from a relative and decided to look into it. That said, I am glad I did! Never having been to South America, let alone many places outside the confines of my own neighborhood, I realized that my imagination needs more than dunking a basketball or scoring on Lebron James. As Picoiyer travel says, “matching the physical steps of a pilgrimage”, for me, is about losing one’s ignorance that often destroys and puts a label on cultures. I want to open myself up and the areas of me that have grown ‘rusty’ throughout my life to moments of interpretation and admiration of subtle beauties that make up cultures, religions, and ideologies in this vast world. I found it interesting in reading that traveling is almost like a love affair. Well, I hope to fall in love on this trip by experiencing wonder, questioning my past and future actions, feeling a ‘heightened state of awareness’, and returning home surprisingly homesick of what had been my home and way of living for 83 days.

I can not wait to get to know every one of you!


Abby Meyers  (19 years old, but still feel stuck at age 12)