From the Moment to the Memory

Caroline Glynn
May 20, 2014

When I was 13, I left the country for the first time. Coming from a typical Midwestern suburb, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the cliffs and harbors of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia. I remember instantly feeling at home as I took in the lighthouses, old cemeteries, rolling sand dunes and meadows. I wanted to remember that feeling forever. So I started collecting little mementos from around the island: business cards, receipts, brochures.

I started collecting tokens from all of my travels, whether I went across town or across the Atlantic. I put them into binders and journals and wrote about my experiences. The entries were scribbled and usually rushed, but I did my best to preserve physical reminders of the places I’d seen.

As I began to pack for studying in Ecuador this summer, I looked back at my old journals, thick with ink and added papers. I started to notice a pattern in my entries. The physical reminders were there, but what had really stayed with me were the memories they represent. A taped-on bottle cap became the experience of drinking Apfelschorle in a café in Augsburg. A dried flower became the feeling of walking through the meadows that inspired Anne of Green Gables in Cavendish. A train ticket to Füssen became the awe I felt when I saw the Alps for the first time, and how I still see them again and again whenever puffy, white cumulous clouds tower across the sky.

Whether it’s from a field trip to Otavalo or just daily life in Quito, I’ll still bring back physical reminders of my time in Ecuador. I have no idea what to expect from the amazing ecological diversity that ranges from the Galapagos Islands to the Amazon Rainforest—both are pretty different from a typical Midwestern suburb. But I hope to bring back as many memories with me as possible, whether they’re the physical kind or the kind that last even longer.

Caroline Glynn

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I&#39;m a sophomore from a small Midwestern university with one hand on my notebook and pen, and the other on &quot;the big picture.&quot; As an International Studies major with a concentration in Environmental Sustainability and a student writer on campus, I love using my writing to connect the dots between my own life and the lives of people across the globe. I explore, I discover, I observe--and then I write.</span></p>

Destination:
Term:
2014 Summer 1, 2014 Summer 2
Home university:
University of Dayton
Major:
International Studies
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