One of the Inquiry Seminar opportunities as a first-year student at Concordia is “Adventure, Exploration and Risk.”
This particular Inquiry Seminar traveled abroad together as a class during fall break. Below is an excerpt from the travel journal of Shelby Johnson ’21 while on the Exploration Seminar to London, Paris and Scotland in fall 2017.
After hours and hours of traveling, my group of fellow Concordia students and I finally arrived. Just getting here had been an adventure in itself, but it was all worth it when we hit London’s iconic streets. After taking in the best the city had to offer, my group traveled to Paris to see the sights and then to Scotland to hike through the mountains.
I’ve traveled overseas before, but what surprised me was how at home I felt on this trip. The culture and the architecture were unfamiliar, but at the same time the environment was somehow comforting. One of my favorite aspects of traveling is how a place you never thought you would go to feels the most like home.
Even when things on our trip didn’t go quite according to plan (like our train getting canceled), it just gave my group more opportunities to explore cities and places we wouldn’t have had time to see otherwise. Traveling has opened my mind to new perspectives and ideas I wasn’t exposed to when I was younger. It’s completely different than learning about places in books. When you actually travel somewhere, you get to live in that moment.
I think the most important thing I learned on the trip is that we should take the chance to experience different cultures because it expands our knowledge of the world. Concordia’s BREW concept has a lot of influence on my new mindset. To me, “becoming responsibly engaged in the world” means taking the opportunity to learn about new places. It is recognizing that our culture is just one of many cultures in the world.
More than once on our trip, I thought about how lucky I was to travel abroad during my freshman year of college and to get these different experiences. I would rather be a part of new places and start my own adventure than stay in my comfort zone and wonder why I never went.
Shelby Johnson '21 is majoring in communication studies and marketing at Concordia.