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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]


The lure of PLUís Study Abroad Program continues

By Liz Tunnell '94

[photo] Liz Tunnell (back) prepares to make a 340-foot bungee jump during her adventure in New Zealand
Liz Tunnell (back) prepares to make a 340-foot bungee jump during her adventure in New Zealand.
It was the Study Abroad Program at PLU that first started my interest in traveling. From the time I submitted my application to attend PLU, I knew I wanted to be part of the Study Abroad Program. I chose a program in London because I was unsure about learning a new language, but later realized that I had missed out on a great opportunity to do some intensive language study.

My time in London that semester and traveling through Europe both before and during my semester abroad taught me how to travel and that traveling was an integral part of my soul. I learned that traveling not only expanded the boundaries of my knowledge, but expanded me as a person as well. From that moment forward, I never finish a trip without planning my next adventure abroad. To date Iíve explored 26 countries and it wonít be long until my list tops over 100 different exotic locales.

Most recently I finished a contract position with a high-tech company and took the next six months to travel solo through Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The 10 countries I visited were magnificent and as amazing as they were diverse. From grass huts in Indonesia to towering high-rises in Singapore to coral beds deep in the sea, I got an insight into the cultures of Asia.

True to form, while in Southeast Asia I started asking people I was traveling with about any traveling they had done in South America. By the time I boarded the plane to go back home to my boyfriend, he and I had outlined a two-year trip through South America. It will take at least a couple of years of saving and planning before weíre ready to go, but on slow days at the office I can gaze out of the window, feel the heat on the dirt roads and hear the salsa music in the background as I slowly sip a sweaty, salty margarita. As I return to reality I know that, as much as the far-off reaches of the world call my name, Seattle will always be my home. After each adventure I return to pick up my life again with simple luxuries like my warm bed, sit-down toilets and wonderful friends.

Liz Tunnellís stories about her adventures can be read online at http://liztunnell.homestead.com

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