An Opportunity Abroad

     You may have seen by now that I have been posting from London, England. This is because I have been given a wonderful opportunity, one of many this summer. I am currently embarked on a three week study abroad trip based in London. I have always relished every chance I’ve been given to travel and I am taking every advantage of those. This is the same reason I took chances to study in Honolulu, HI and Anchorage, AK as well as participating in World Scout Jamborees and road tripping through Canada.

     Traveling opens up a host of opportunities for a person. Through traveling I get to experience new places and cultures, try new foods and meet many new friends. Being able to explore new cultures can give me a wonderful perspective in which to view things. I can start to see issues from different points of view, be more empathetic and have deeper understandings of myself and others. For my pre-pharmacy classes I had to take a class called Intercultural Communication, while I maintain that that is a terrible class, I can see where it may make a difference. That said, no class will ever compare to immersing oneself into a culture, even for a short time.

     Related to culture is food, but there is so much to experience here. I love food, something that may be evidenced in some of my less flattering pictures. I will try new things at restaurants, try new restaurants, and return just so I can try other things on the menu. I must thank both of my parents for encouraging me here as they are both adventurous, in the food realm, as well. Even though I can’t tolerate really spicy food, I keep trying new things and am working on the spicy side of life too. While America is a melting pot, many of the restaurants there do not have a truly authentic feel and there is a vast amount to experience anywhere one may go. I strive to find new places, especially those hole in the wall eateries, that can add to my food palate.

     The other occurrence I really cherish when traveling is the ability to make new friends. I have several friends abroad that I hope to visit often. While I am in London I will take the opportunity to visit two that reside relatively close. Having these friends gives me the ability to learn even more and to have some really great laughs in addition. Friends make life much more fun and interesting and I hope to make many more. On the trip to London I met a great lady named Sky and had a great time conversing with her. I got a hug from her in the end and I’d call her a friend. An aside, friends can also be a great excuse to travel. I have a friend doing missionary work in Taiwan right now, and I hope to visit him next summer.

     Because of these reasons, and plenty of great times, I choose to travel whenever and wherever I can. I have a passion to travel and I hope to see even more of the world. May the path always lead me to something great to experience.

Martin “Mixy” McNichols
Until we meet again

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