Up, Up and Away...

Isabella Courtenay-Morris
August 27, 2017
Various Views From Plane Windows

I am a very last minute person. My untimely attribute is very apparent now, as I’m writing my first blog post on my flight from Washington D.C. to Frankfurt, Germany where I will begin my abroad experience. To say I’m excited is an understatement. Even before I applied to university, I daydreamed about the countless adventures that I would embark on during a study abroad semester in college. Now, here I am, taking off to explore a new continent, foster new friendships, and immerse myself in all that is Barcelona, Spain. 


My parents are professional ski instructors who chased winter seasons and brought my younger brother and I with them despite skeptics wondering whether it was the “best” way to raise a family. I was born in a small Australian town and flew on my first international flight at only six-months-old. Ever since, I lived between the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado and a small coastal town on the eastern side of Australia. I am now very happily “settled” at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I’m entering my junior year studying media and journalism, and global studies, with a social and economic justice minor. 


I have been fortunate to live a pretty wild, international life. But the list of countries I’ve been to already doesn’t nearly amount to the list of places I plan to visit I’ve compiled over the years. Not just countries - provinces, castles, mountain ranges, lakes and rivers, well-known train trips - anything I have seen online or in print that sparks interest in me, I add it to my list of “Must Sees”. I have a bad case of wanderlust. Honestly, it’s hard not to in this day and age. People constantly post pictures of new and exciting places they’ve traveled to on basically every social media platform. I’m not pointing fingers, I’m definitely guilty of this too. Though it makes it hard not to fantasize about trips you have and will take during your lifetime. I’ve recently read that millennials are more likely to save for travel rather than for their first house, car, or even to pay off their debt. Crazy right?! To think that my generation has taken the term “global citizen” almost literally. But hey, I believe it’s crucial to do so. Travelers gain tremendous amounts of tolerance when stepping out of their comfort zones and into an environment filled with people who look, act and speak differently. It’s like seeing the world with a completely new set of eyes.


I’m eager to explore Spain’s Mediterranean metropolis. Prior travels haven’t taken me to Spain, so I’m unsure what to expect. Though, friends have described a bustling city full of tradition, tranquility, spirit, and entertainment. Barcelona is filled with iconic architecture and landscapes, dotted with funky cafes, and surrounded by mountains and beaches, what more can I ask for? Though my Spanish is no bueno, I hope to dive straight in to connect with my host family and local classmates. Homesickness or running out of things to do are not particularly concerning as of now. My childhood prepared me for impromptu experiences and I am sure to take them all in stride. Nevertheless, some of my recent Google searches read: How to be a financially stable vagabond and best ways to visit almost every European country in a limited amount of time. You can never be too prepared…


So, as I leap into a semester in a new environment, with new people and experiences, I can only advise myself to follow the wise words of an anonymous wise person - seize the journey.


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Isabella Courtenay-Morris

<p>My parents are ski instructors and chased Winter seasons between Australia and the U.S. I was born in Australia, but at six-months-old, I began traveling between each country. I was educated in both countries, transferring between schools in Aspen, Colorado and Port Macquarie, New South Wales every semester. I have been very fortunate to travel to various parts of the world, all while gaining an appreciation for differing cultures and discovered the power of travel as a learning tool.</p>

2017 Fall
Home University:
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Bonny Hills, Australia and Aspen, Colorado
Global Studies
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