From a Norbucks booth mid-spring quarter:

It’s the end of April, but the windchill here in Evanston today still hasn’t managed to creep past a balmy 40 degrees. I’m in the midst of midterms, teaching practicums, the Waa-Mu show, and countless meetings that are all beginning to weigh me down. While burdened with the spring quarter struggle–that every Northwestern student knows all too well–the enthusiasm I have for my summer travel adventures only increases. It’s hard to believe that I’ll be abroad in just less than two months. It should go without saying that a trip of this duration takes some meticulous planning. I’ve applied for visas and received my shots. I’ve continued to work out housing plans and packing lists. I’ve finalized site visit dates and secured some interviews.

Since my last post, though, I reached quite a milestone in my newfound love of traveling: I flew internationally solo for the first time. This past spring break, I travelled to Jerusalem to visit an old friend and celebrate Easter. Over the course of my trip, we travelled throughout Israel to sightsee, visit her friends, and eat some tasty food. Though I was slightly anxious as I awaited my flight’s departure at O’Hare International, I ran into no trouble in Warsaw, Krakow, and Tel Aviv airports. By the time I arrived home after a long ten days, I was remarkably more comfortable and confident to take on whatever challenges may arise when I navigate thirteen new airports this summer.

Dipping my toes in the Mediterranean Sea

Sitting on the steps of the Church of Saint John the Baptist in Ein Karem

Since I’m terrible at wrapping up my thoughts, the rest of these blog post things will end with three things that I’m feeling especially thankful for:

1. The Circumnavigators Club of Chicago for making this entire trip possible

2. Northwestern University, a world-class university that gives me opportunities to travel and research issues that I’m passionate about

3. A loving family that’s not thrilled I’m traveling around the world alone, but fully supports my anyway