In preparation for my cruise next week, I needed a new passport. Mine expired in 2013 and sadly, I’ve had no reason to renew it in the las couple of years. I am actually going to just be using my birth certificate and driver’s license (and also bringing a print-out of the policy so if they give me any trouble, I’m not stuck on the boat…) but had fun going through my stamps. Here are the places I’ve been lucky enough to visit:
Costa Rica (2003): This trip was the reason why I needed my passport! I went to Costa Rica between my sophomore and junior year of high school. It was one of those EF tours organized by my biology teacher, with about 15 students from school. The trip was so long ago that I don’t remember most of it but the highlight was definitely zip lining through the rainforest and white water rafting. I haven’t been rafting since, but loved it so much! Our guide intentionally tipped the raft and while I still don’t forgive him for that, I survived!
Mexico (2005): When I say Mexico, you’re picturing the beaches of Cancun or Cabo but the only Mexico I’ve seen so far is Tijuana. I went in 2005 with my church, just for the day, to help build a home for a family. Tijuana was one of the saddest places I’ve seen.
Canada (2006): And when I say Canada, you’re picturing Vancouver or Toronto. Freshman year
of college, a few of my friends and I went to Nelson, a tiny little city north of Spokane, only about 2 hours across the boarder.
Zambia (2008): I spent about four weeks in Zambezi, Zambia with my college’s leadership program. We engaged in servant leadership with the community, starting different programs from computer literary, health, and teaching. I taught 9th grade English and Geography at the local basic school. I would walk to the school, about half a mile maybe, every morning for classes and walk back after and help with the literacy program we were also running. Adults would walk for miles, one way, to come spend their afternoons with us. This was the first year of the program, and since then, it has grown immensely and I’m really proud of the work Gonzaga continues to do there. While here, too, we got to go on a safari (it has nothing on the Wild Animal Park) and explore Victoria Falls.
London (2008): Okay, this BARELY counts but I do have a stamp so I’m calling it good. We stopped in London for a short 24 hours (maybe less) on our way back from Zambia. I don’t actually remember what we did but I think we walked around and saw the big sights?
Zambia (2010): I spent another four weeks in Zambia (this time in Monze), working with pre-service teachers. We lived on campus with the students and observed them in their student teaching positions, led professional development with the facility, started a library/literacy center, etc. I am not sure what the status of the program is now as it was also the first year that Gonzaga’s School of Education sent teachers. We had plenty of time to explore including my favorite place again, Victoria Falls.
Botswana (2010): I went on an over-night safari in Botswana. We were only there for a short 24 hours but I did get a stamp so it totally counts!
London (2010): Again, I got to hang out in London on the way back from Zambia (also stopping in Johannesburg– no stamp because we didn’t leave the airport). We had our bags with us but took the tube in to central London and walked around the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and had lunch in Piccadilly Circus (where we saw Usher).
And that’s it for my international travels! I have a super long list of where I want to go eventually. Traveling is expensive and unfortunately my teacher salary doesn’t allow me to travel as much as I’d like but I’m still young. Still plenty of time to see the world!