4 Worn PassportsInspiring Family Gap Years and Independent Global Travel

Delaney

DelaneySummer 2018

Flash-forward five years and I’m about to start my freshman year at Auburn University! A lot has changed since my eighth grade year, but I wouldn’t change anything. After being the girl who was reluctant to travel anywhere, I even surprised myself by taking a trip to Europe with my mom for my senior trip–rather than the typical trip to the beach with all of my friends.

Condoleezza Rice International DayMy travel experiences have affected me more than I ever thought they would five years ago. I even wrote my college application essay on how my worldview has been impacted by my global experiences. And Yellowhammer News published it! I finished out my senior year of high school by delivering the closing keynote address at my middle school’s International Day. The former Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, was the opening keynote speaker and I was honored to meet her!

I’m majoring in pre-nursing and will hopefully be admitted to Auburn’s nursing program. I would love to one day serve on global medical missions and/or travel nursing.

Until then, War Eagle!!!!!!!

**UPDATE: MARCH 2014**

Be sure to read my post-travel summary, Around the World and Back Again. It might surprise you.

Fall 2013

Big Ben red phone booth Delaney
London, England

To most people, traveling the world for five months seems like the greatest experience ever. Visiting amazing places you have never even heard of and missing school. Most kids would say, Sign me up! But, not me.

My parents have always been insane when it comes to traveling. My dad’s favorite pasttime is watching House Hunters International, a show that combines real estate, (because he can’t get enough of his job at the office), and traveling. He loves being able to say, I’ve been there, or point out places he would love to visit. My mom, on the other hand, enjoys nothing more than sitting at her computer looking for deals on flights. I don’t know what kind of rush you get staring at numbers on a screen, but she loves it.

My sister, Riley, is excited one day about the trip and wants nothing to do with it the next.

Then there’s me, Delaney, the oldest child. I’m fourteen and I have VERY mixed feelings about leaving home for five months. I know that I will look back on it years from now and appreciate it more than anything, but at the moment, I am not too thrilled to be missing half of my eighth grade year.

In the past, we have been on trips that lasted two to three weeks. By the end, I was itching to be home in my own bed. How am I supposed to survive for five months? At least on those trips we had another family along for the journey. Not this time, though. I have my family all to myself for five months! Yippee.

I am not sure how I will put up with them.

Deep down, though, I think I’m sort of excited. Hearing some of the things we will be doing like snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and riding in a giant hamster ball (Zorb) down a hill in New Zealand sound like a ton of fun.

I know I will miss home and my friends, but I also know that they will be waiting for me when I get back. It’s like I will just hit pause on my life, go on an amazing adventure, come back and hit play.

I have the rest of my life to live any way I want. So why not do something important with it while I can?