Semester at Sea Reunion Voyage 2010 – Liveblogging!

January 8th – I’ve never blogged a full reunion voyage and I felt compelled to right now so I figured I would take advantage of my short-lived enthusiasm. So, here are the basics. I studied abroad with Semester at Sea in Fall 2005 and I have been involved ever since as a passionate alumni. I currently serve as a member of the Young Alumni Council (now pronounced “yak”) which falls under the Alumni Association Board of Directors. I feel so fortunate for this opportunity to remain involved with SAS in such an in-depth way. If you are unfamiliar with this program, I urge you to check out the website and consider applying for an upcoming voyage. You can attend as a student, staff, faculty, or Lifeong Learner. There is a place for you on Semester at Sea and I guarantee that you will not regret it for even a second.

Here are two albums I made on our first year anniversary of disembarking the ship – 1 and 2.

I actually started my first blog when I left for Semester at Sea and I have been blogging now and then ever since. I wanted to write about my reunion voyage experience because during a session today on marketing the SAS program one of the ideas was to blog about it – so, here I am!

This is my fourth reunion voyage and it is a milestone 5 year reunion for the Fall 2005 voyage – we have 80+ Fall05ers attending (out of 650 or so total) ! Reunion voyages are open to all voyages, the first one being in 1926. This program has a rich history and I am so excited to be part of this history and this ever-growing community.

I have spent the past day and a half with 80 other members of the Alumni Association Board of Directors discussing, strategizing, and planning for the next year. It has been incredible to meet such passionate, well-traveled, and successful people who are related to SAS in some way. After today’s meeting was over I decided to just walk around the ship for a bit. I have such an emotional attachment to this ship – the classrooms, dining halls, computer lab, Union, cabins, piano bar, but not the gym because I did not use it even once. Every time I come back for a reunion voyage the memories rush back. Even though I am not in my original cabin (4086 – the Riki Suite – with the ever so fabulous Jessica Vrazilek), my mind wanders back to how we really made these cabins our home for 3 months. We put up pictures, tried to organize our junk, and basically made a big mess after every port. I walked around today and remembered sitting out on the 7th deck when the weather was warm, sitting for hours in the Piano Bar to access the Internet for a few expensive minutes (despite the name it was an area that was mostly used for studying – it just happened to be near a piano – this is a retired cruise ship after all andI guess the name stuck), waking up early to stand outside the Staffulty (Staff+Faculty) lounge and watch the sunrise, and on and on and on. For those of you who had to put up with me after my SAS voyage, I’m sure I seemed a bit reclusive and distant. It’s not because I valued home any less but I just painfully missed this ship, these people, and this experience. Reverse culture shock at its finest.

Everytime I think I have recovered I come back on a reunion voyage and I am reminded of how blissfully happy I was on Semester at Sea. Obviously, life goes on and I found this happiness in other experiences but there is something so different about how I felt when I was on SAS. I am truly in my element here.

I look forward to sharing my reunion voyage experience with those of you who made it this far down the page. I promise to write about more interesting things than my own feelings. For example, there is a session on “Bridging the Gap of Foreign Policy and Pop Culture: The United Nations to MTV” that I will definitely be attending.  Stay tuned!

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