back “home”, whatever that may mean…

(First part written August 19-20th)

As we approach Norfolk there has been so much on my mind. I keep thinking back to when I returned to New Jersey after being in Arizona and how difficult it was to adjust back to real life. It was the most difficult transition I have ever had. For my friends on this ship who have never experienced such a transition I think it will be a lot harder than they anticipate. It’s a different kind of transition then I had nearly five years ago though. Now I’m going back to my own country and my own culture. I won’t have to worry about what I wear when I leave my house, if my head needs to be covered, or if

During convocation today one of the students gave a speech to end the journey and congratulate the people graduating after this semester at sea. She read off a list of hilarious things to think about as we go back:

-It is no longer appropriate to yell out in class “dolphins!” or “a whale!” and run to the window.

-You will probably never get the chance to pie your professor ever again.

-Talking about your G.I. problems/pepto side effects at the dinner table will no longer be appropriate.

-You will no longer be padded down when entering your home.

-You will no longer have to think of sneaky ways to get alcohol into your house.

-You won’t have to save wine for weeks in order to have a good time one night.

-There will not be someone making your bed or picking up your towels on the bathroom floor anymore, you’ll have to do it yourself.

-(This was said for the guys on the ship because of the 25/75 ration of guys to girls): Guys, you will never be this attractive to girls again in your life.

– You will no longer be able to claim “seasick” when skipping class.

-There won’t be an announcement at noon everyday telling you you’re latitude and longitude.

-Peanut butter will no longer be rationed – you can have it whenever you want.

-There will not be anymore “Stupid Question’s/Comment’s of the Day” anymore. (These were hilarious…some people just amaze me.)

-The same four movies will not play on a “loop” everyday.


I wrote this on the last day on the ship and never finished it. Now that I’m back there is a completely different perspective on this topic. The transition back has been completely different from my Remuda transition. While at Remuda those girls became my sisters, we shared a bond that went far beyond friendship – we all chose life together. We worked towards living and recovering. There was an incredibly strong bond that was created because of the intense emotional and physical changes occurring in each one of us. On the ship, however, my friends became best friends. We shared radical experiences all over the world. We share memories that my friends here, besides Sam, don’t really understand.

I try not to talk about it too much because I don’t want to seem like I’m bragging or talking only about the greatest adventure of my life so far but inside there really is so much I wish I could say. It’s really awesome having Sam here with me so that we can relate to each other and reflect upon the whole summer. I can’t imagine how hard it is for people who don’t have anyone back at their home school to talk to. It’s hard looking at pictures from the summer…especially one’s ON the ship. We had an amazing time off the ship for sure but the community on the ship and the pictures of our summer’s home really gets me. Every time I see the video that the ship made for us before we left I want to cry. I wish I could post it up here, I’ll try to when I figure out how to do something like that. It’s intense. People who weren’t on the trip and see the video almost cry. The whole experience was just really mind-blowing. I can’t believe it even happened now. I’m three weeks into my junior year now… THREE YEARS. Next year I’ll be a senior and preparing to go to my internship and graduate in the spring. It’s so surreal how fast things happen. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized this so much more. I wish I could slow things down so that it is easier for me to reflect and absorb all the things I’m doing and seeing.

Sam and I have talked about how much smarter we feel back at school. Our minds have been working constantly all summer while everyone else drank their summers away. Not that we didn’t drink or have fun – I’m sure you’ve read about all the dancing we did haha – but we also learned a superfluous amount over the last two and a half months. Things we have learned and seen are popping up constantly. Right outside where I work is a picture of the Blue Mosque in Turkey. I was there, I went inside, I saw it all. My friend Alex went to Granada, Spain to study and he said he was staying across from the Alhambra – I learned all about that in Global Studies, about King Boabdil and the Moors… I feel enlightened with knowledge.

Next weekend is a mini-reunion of my favorite SAS’ers. We’re meeting at UVA for the weekend and going to a Widespread Panic concert. I wish we were meeting at Saki’s Hostel in Montenegro instead but this will do. I can’t wait to see them. Everyday we talk, whether it’s through texting or random phone calls. Morgan came to visit last weekend before she embarks to Turkey for a semester. It’s really awesome how new friends can mix with old friends so easily…I think our group of friends on the ship are incredibly special people who have such amazing personalities that they can be friends with anyone! I can’t explain enough how excited I am to dance with all those kids again!

Well, I hope to keep this going for personal use…in order to slow my life down and really grasp the reality of where I go, what I do, and the extent of my experiences…wherever they may be.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mom
    Sep 14, 2010 @ 16:09:19

    Loved reading this final blog of your experiences–you have seen and lived what most people have only read about. Hoping this adventure reinforces the truth and paradox of American culture and the world in which we live.The USA may not have centuries-old culture and architecture—but a 200+ history of opportunity,freedom,and prosperity for the people of the world. It has been a unique experiment that is unparalled in the history of humanity. This is your culture–your blessing–your inheritance. What a privlege to be called an American!!!!


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