Let the Adventure Begin!

Today is the day. Though this trip has been eight months in the making, it still doesn’t feel real. I never thought June 17th would actually come; my itinerary always seemed more like a hypothetical string of events than reality.

When deciding to apply for the Circumnavigators Travel-Study Grant, my reasoning was undoubtedly: Why not? The award is an unparalleled opportunity through which I will be able to complete a cross-cultural analysis of the treatment and display of human remains in museums around the world. Tonight marks the beginning of the first portion of my travels, which will take me to the bustling streets of London, to a quiet town in Southern France, and to the vibrant city of Barcelona. I’ll continue my journey South to Morocco, eventually departing Casablanca to stop for an hour in Abu Dhabi before continuing farther East to Bangkok, Thailand. Near the beginning of August I’ll travel to Sydney, Australia and Wellington, New Zealand, eventually making my way to Auckland to start the long journey over the Pacific. The South America portion of my travels will subsequently begin in Santiago, Chile and end in Lima, Peru, with visits to Arica, Moquegua, Cusco, and Machu Picchu in between.

6 continents, 10 countries, 11 weeks, 16 flights.

Nervous? Quite likely. Excited? Absolutely. Still in shock that I’m actually backpacking around the world by myself? Most definitely.  In the words of my father: “Every trip you go on after this will be easy.” That’s true, though now I just have to complete this one. Whether you’re interested in my research, fascinated by international travel, praying for my safekeeping (hi, mom), or glad you’re not in my shoes, keep reading all summer for updates and pictures! If you’d like to contact me directly, Facebook or e-mail (catherinealthaus2014@u.northwestern.edu) will do!