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Post-Traveling Thoughts

It has now been a few weeks since I have been home from my trip to Europe and I have been trying my best to transition back into my crazy, American lifestyle. For some, transitioning back from a major traveling experience is no big deal. They can pick up where they left off. For me, on the other hand, it hasn’t been as easy. After the very few times I have been out of the country, I realized I have a hard time and am sensitive to the shift of cultures and lifestyles. The good thing about this is that it forces me to deeply reflect on the experiences I had, where I am at now, and where I am moving forward. Another reason why this transition has been so difficult is because of the challenges I stumbled upon and how they have changed my outlook and perspective on life. That being said, and without going into those stories, I will say I am incredibly grateful I had an opportunity to figure out and manage some difficult things while being on my own for five weeks. If it weren’t for this time away and my self-dependence, I would not feel as grounded, centered, and surer of who I am.

To sum up my trip, I traveled to London, Malaga (Spain), Valencia (Spain), and Prague. I began my trip in London seeing a friend of mine who was studying for the past semester. We visited the National Gallery, China Town, Camden Market, the Sky Garden, and ate outstanding food. My time here was short, but it was wonderful to be back for my second time. From London, we traveled to Malaga, Spain to visit another friend who has been studying. We soaked up the sun at the beach, jumped into the Mediterranean Sea, went paddleboarding, saw many street art performances, and ate tapas, tapas, and even more tapas. This, too, was a short trip and the fun only lasted a few days. I then journeyed via train to Valencia, Spain where I stayed with a host family. During my time here I interned with Villarreal CF (professional Spanish futbol team), took Spanish classes, visited Spain’s voted most beautiful city (Albarracin), visited the famous Ciudad de las Artes y Las Ciencias, and made some memorable friendships. For my final destination, I flew to Prague to visit another friend that moved there. We roamed the city, visited the Prague Castle, spent time at the river, ate the best gelato of my life, traveled to a city outside of Prague (Karlovy Vary), watched a Czech rap show, and watched the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen.

I think it is important to acknowledge that traveling isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, it doesn’t always live up to your romanticized expectations, and it is okay to struggle on such a journey. It was the people I met along my trip that helped support me through my days and challenges. From the people I met for an hour on a train and will never see again to the people I met that I now call my best friends. Life is definitely too short to get stuck in our bad experiences and let them dictate how our life moving forward will be. It has taken me almost three weeks since arriving back to the United States to process everything I experienced in five weeks and I think I will continue to process for a while. I am grateful for the time I had, the friends I got to see, the friends I got to meet, and all the beautiful cities I got to visit along the way. Now it’s time to take the lessons I learned and put it towards my final year in college and onward.

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Travel Bug

Hello everyone!

Here I am writing to you all from Valencia, Spain! I am currently sitting in my program’s office where my internship also takes place. If you have missed the exciting news from a few months back, I am in Spain doing an internship with one of Spain’s professional fútbol teams, Villarreal CF, for a few short weeks. Along with my internship, I am taking Spanish classes here in Valencia as well. In total, I will be gone for a little over a month with also traveling in London, Malaga, Prague, and potentially more European cities as well. While my internship just started, I do not have much to share. However, exploring London, Malaga, and Valencia the last week and a half has been a treat.

I am staying with a host family on the edge of the city. They have shown me wonderful hospitality and care for which I am so grateful. They make me feel so at home and comfortable. They also have been making the most delicious Spanish food. Staying with a host family has been a challenge but a great opportunity to enhance my Spanish communication abilities since they only speak Spanish.

While traveling is presented to be this amazing, magical thing to do, it is truly not easy. Although my Spanish is moderate, I have struggled with the language barrier most of my time here. I was struggling to make new friends in the first few days. I literally did not know what to do with myself because I felt so alone. This gave me an opportunity to walk around and explore the city, which is gorgeous by the way, but I felt a type of lonesome I had never felt before. I just had to figure it out on my own. I was talking with a friend of mine from back home and she told me that it is okay to feel this way and that you do not have to be happy all the time just because you are traveling. This was the best advice I could have recieved. I am taking in the challenges and learning from them. In all honesty, I am so grateful for the challenges I have faced.

The month of May has been the best month of this year so far. I celebrated my 21st birthday, I concluded my Junior year with HECUA’s Art for Social Change program, I traveled to Chicago for my sister’s graduation, and I got to travel to Europe. For that, you could say I definitely have the travel bug.

Savannah

Remember Your Gratitude

Finally! The snow is melted, the semester is almost over, and the sun is shining. Life is good and there are so many things to be grateful for. Before I get into my exciting future endeavors for the next few months, I am going to give an update about the month of April.

This past month was a lot of running around, checking off lists, and trying to stay sain. Very typical for a college student’s last few weeks of the semester. On a saddening note, just a few days ago, my family put down one of our dogs, Ivy. She was battling bone cancer and it escalated rapidly causing her to be in pain that no one should have to live through. The past week has been very difficult and a transition to come home to one less dog. She was such a sweetheart and six years too young to have this happen to her.

I was doing a million things from hosting a dinner for my Art for Social Change class to hosting my final event on Hamline campus for the year (an open mic night). The dinner went smoothly and HECUA published my article about it that you can check out here. My final event was a huge success! About fifty students showed up and roughly ten people performed, including myself and my two friends outside of Hamline, Luke Ericksen and Olivia Roberts. A perfect way to close my role as Late Night Event Programmer.

I have been doing a lot of dancing from taking dance classes to creating dance projects. A few weeks ago, I was able to take a dance class with one of Beyonce’s back up dancers, Corbin, at a studio outside of the cities. This was my second time taking a class with her and it was a wonderful way to grow as a dancer and connect with someone who has “made it” as a dancer in LA. Also very cool because she is from Minnesota! I also just finished my final project for my HECUA Art for Social Change class. While the final project is not due until May 9th, I have already finished it and uploaded it to YouTube and you can check that project out here. I am very happy with my final product and so grateful for all of the people involved that made the project possible. (Watch until the very end to read the credits about who was involved!)

Also in the month of April, I helped at an event for my nanny family called Change it Forward Tanzania, I transitioned into my Executive Board Secretary position for the honors society Omicron Delta Kappa for next year, and I received the Erickson Social Justice Scholarship Award which is given to an outstanding student who is majoring in Social Justice at Hamline. Big things are happening!

As for the month of May, my 21st birthday is a few days away, my older sister is graduating from Graduate School from the University of Illinois Chicago, my friends are graduating from Hamline, and I am leaving for my five-week trip to Europe on the 19th of this month. I will be giving an update next month as to how my journey is going. Stay tuned for some exciting things! (:

Savannah

The Winter Defeat

Spring has sprung…and hopefully it stays that way. I feel as though I have been reborn into this world after all of the snow melted. It truly is motivating! Each month seems to fly by and I continue to be in awe of the wonderful opportunities and events that play out in my life. 2019 has been very good to me.

I am officially headed to Europe in May! I got accepted into the Valencia, Spain Marketing, Design, and Communications internship. Along with this, I will take about three other weeks to do traveling around other parts of Europe as well. I just bought my ticket to start off my journey to London. It is starting to feel real! Unfortunately, I won’t be doing summer research with Hamline this summer as I did not get accepted. I was feeling down about it but then I realized that I already have so many other opportunities I get to pursue, such as traveling for an entire month! My summer plans are not fully worked out yet and are a work in progress. It would be difficult to start an internship/job when I get back the end of June because most companies start their summer internship programs at the beginning of June. If anyone has ideas or opportunities in mind, let me know. (:

A few weeks ago, I was able to spend a few days in Michigan visiting my dad. Next month, I will be going to Chicago for my older sisters graduation from graduate school. I have felt incredibly fortunate to pursue the traveling this year that I have done and will continue to do. I do not have any more updates from this past month. I hope everyone at Concord is doing well and enjoy this spring weather!

Savannah

February Was a Dead Sprint

Well, with all of the snow we have gotten, Minnesotans are going to have their summer bodies for all the shoveling we’ve been doing. The snow is beautiful and absolutely outrageous and I am ready for summer now. For how short of a month February was, it certainly was action packed. I feel like I blinked and March emerged right before my eyes. So now let’s break down everything that happened this past month, shall we?

After all of the delightful snow days, I finally began my internship at Washburn High School in the Black Box Theater Program the first week of February. Although I am very familiar with this space I feel like I am learning new things in this comfortable space that I was not yet ready to learn when I was a student in the Black Box in high school. For those of you who do not know what the Washburn Black Box is, it is a social justice theater company that was created by Crystal Spring about ten years back. I took theater with Ms. Spring Freshman through Senior year and even participated in the advanced touring company my Junior and Senior year. If you would like to learn a little bit more, watch this video that TPT created about the Black Box here. I have reentered the Black Box in a new pair of shoes where I can now help mentor, direct, and support high school students that walk through the doors of the Black Box. I am beyond grateful.

The reason I am interning at Washburn is because of an off-campus study away program I am doing this semester instead of taking classes at Hamline. The program is through HECUA called Art for Social Change. It requires me to have an internship and meet for class Tuesdays and Thursdays with the other nine students enrolled in this program. After this program, I will get a semesters worth of credits straight to my Social Justice major. We have learned fascinating things and created amazing work. Just the other day we held class at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis and reenacted art pieces like Emma Sulkowicz’s Mattress Performance, Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present and AAA, Mierle Laderman’s Touch Sanitation, and Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece.

For my event planning job at Hamline, I put on two different events this past month. I hired Alissa Paris, a local Minneapolis hip hop dancer and choreographer, to come teach a dance class for students on campus. I also put on an open mic night to give Hamline students a platform to showcase their talents. This was exciting since these are two events or opportunities the campus lacks. I am happy I could make these events come to life.

Over Valentine’s Day weekend I made a trip to D.C. to see one of my best friends who goes to George Washington University. I flew into Baltimore and took the train into D.C. which made the adventure way more enterprising and cheap. We ate great food, enjoyed the sixty-degree weather, and wondered the beautiful city. This was a perfect weekend getaway from the fifty feet of snow Minnesota currently has.

My travel plans don’t stop there. In a few weeks I will be going to Michigan to see my dad and in May I will be going to Chicago for my sister’s graduation from Graduate school. Shortly after I will be leaving for a five-week journey all over Europe. I applied for a Marketing, Design & Communications three-week internship in Valencia, Spain and I just recently got accepted into the program! The program begins the end of May and I will be taking the week before and the week after to travel to London, Málaga, Prague, and potentially a few other locations. I could not be any more excited about this opportunity. Along with this, I just submitted my application to do Summer Research at Hamline with my Communications advisor. If my application and proposal get accepted, I will be using my time in Spain to not only have an internship but also research information about the Spain Migrant Crisis. I will be finding out in a couple of weeks if it gets accepted or not. Fingers crossed!

As you can tell this past month has been insane and absolutely thrilling. A lot of good news and good energy recently. Let’s keep it going for the month of March!

Savannah

PS. I finally started my lifestyle blog at the beginning of this month. If you would like to check it out you can right here. (:

 

Time and Time Again

And BOOM! The first month of 2019 has already gone by. Just like that. I have yet to start my semester with HECUA, my Art for Social Change program, which starts the first week of February. I don’t remember the last time I had so much time on my hands where I was able to do the productive things I always talked about doing. January has been so healthy and so dear to me. I needed this month to recenter myself, plan the next few months of my life, and do things for me.

I spent a long weekend at the beginning of January in Arizona with one of my best friends. We sat at the pool, did a few hikes, visited Sedona, and stayed far away from the Minnesota cold.

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Aside from working, this month consisted of saying goodbye to friends that are going back to school and going abroad. This was strange for me because so many of my friends are studying abroad, and this was something I wanted to pursue but couldn’t without me graduating late. On the bright side of this, I have been planning about a month-long trip to Europe coming up in May! Not only will I be doing traveling to places like London, Spain, Prague, and more, but I also found a Marketing/Communications internship in Spain that I am looking into applying for! If things work out perfectly as they are in my head, then I have a huge thing to look forward to.

Ideally, when I come back from Europe, I have an opportunity to do summer research at Hamline with my advisor. This is another big task I have been taking on since my proposal is due the beginning of March. Doing an internship abroad and paid summer research in one summer? I hit the summer jackpot. (Well, fingers crossed if I get accepted into both…I am just too ambitious.

I also can’t even begin to tell you how many books I have been reading this month. I was never much of a reader, but since I have had more free time than usual I figured I should start. I am almost finished with Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, and I have to say that it is now one of my favorites. Along with reading, I’ve created a consistent workout routine and have been taking dance classes in Minneapolis.

Due to the freezing cold temperatures this week, all of my jobs and events got canceled and my car won’t start or jump. So I almost quite literally have been trapped at my house. This was a perfect opportunity to begin the blog that I have been talking about for months. The name is called Savannah Brie and you can check it out here! I am beyond thrilled, and slightly nervous, to get it started.

I start my internship at Washburn High School tomorrow and my classes with HECUA begin next week. I am very excited for this semester and the opportunities that lie ahead of me. Already feeling good about this year. (:

Yearly Reflection

The month of December was the most significant month of this year. Not only was I challenged in every aspect of my life, but I also grew the most through these challenges. A true definition of bittersweet. December was filled with finishing the semester strong, dancing, saying goodbye to friends who are studying abroad/moving out of the country, connections and disconnections, and most importantly, a whole lot of personal growth.

Reflection has been huge for me. With it being the new year a lot of people do this annually. However, that seems too short to reflect once a year just because the year is new. Through conversations I have had and books I have read, being connected and checking in with yourself often is one of the most kind things we can do for ourselves. It’s easy to make a New Years Resolution. It’s even easier to not stick with it. Journaling, talking, praying/meditating, reading, and having true and authentic alone time I have found this month are simple keys to reflect on yourself so you can better connect with others.

By doing these things throughout the month of December, I have learned to think in the present moment each day which not only benefits me but the people around me as well. I am thrilled for 2019 because 2018 was an amazing turning point of a year for my career, my interests, my relationships, and myself. I begin my next semester in February with HECUA’s Art for Social Change program. Having time away from Hamline and doing something completely different academically is just what I need right now.

I hope everyone had a safe and outstanding New Year celebration. (:

Savannah

Comeback Season

The month of November was equivalent to my own personal “comeback season”. Since October was made up of me being in bed sick, I was determined to make November a million times better. Most importantly, I am no longer sick and nearly feel reborn again. Thank goodness! And since I only had two weeks to battle before Thanksgiving break, it was pretty much a motivator to stay focused and get caught up on all of my school work.

1. I have some very exciting accomplishments to share. The first one being that I was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), a national leadership honor society. This is the 10th year of ODK being at Hamline. The ceremony was beautifully done by the current ODK board members and I am so honored to be a part of such an amazing community.

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2. I also got to perform as a Washburn High School Black Box alum in a performance Joe Davis put on called The New Renaissance Part III. Myself along with other Black Box alum and current students created a movement/dance piece to one of Joe’s poems. This was truly special because we got to share the stage with other outstanding singers, musicians, dancers and artists. (The picture below is a little blurry.)

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3. While this is not an officially completed accomplishment, I have decided to start my own personal lifestyle blog in 2019. Doing my monthly blog posts for Concord and mixing my passion for writing, I am very excited to put this goal into action. In it will include traveling, health and wellness, food, music, inspiration and each month I will be highlighting a different local artist. I am looking forward to this because it could build my personal writing portfolio when I start applying for jobs and maybe I could end up making a small career out of this. I have also thought about learning more about photography and adding that to my skills and expertise along the way.

4. I have some travel plans that are in the works currently! Both in the US and internationally. So stay tuned for Savannah’s adventure updates. (:

Overall, I have been thinking a lot about the gratitude I have for people and things in my life recently and how I am showing it through actions and words. I think it is important, especially during this time of the year, to slow down and really check yourself. What am I grateful for? How have I showed that gratitude? What is one thing I can do to be a better me? Just some nice reflection during this crazy busy season.

That is all for now! I am focusing on doing well and pushing through the last few weeks of this semester. Then only three more semesters left until I graduate. Where does the time go?

Savannah

The October Blues

I wish I could say this month has been exciting and eventful but unfortunately it has been an unfortunate series of events. Starting the beginning of this month I got incredibly ill. This lasted three straight weeks and caused me to miss my classes, my two jobs, and my internship. After three doctors visits in this time frame, I tested positive with mono. Fortunately, I knew what was wrong with me. Unfortunately, this played a huge and negative impact on every aspect of my life this month.

Although I have been in my bed the majority of the month of October, there were a few upsides to this month. I had a dance performance at my school’s Lip Sync Competition for Homecoming Week. I also got asked to do another dance/movement performance for an event at the Southern Theater at the end of November. I went to see Passenger in concert at First Avenue. The best part of this month is that I am FINALLY feeling better! I truly feel like I died and was reborn in a new life. It is crazy how much we take advantage of our health and daily abilities until we get sick and can’t use the functions of our bodies the exact same. So, I am very thankful to be healthy again.

The end of October has been a month of catching up on school work, internship hours and returning back to work. October definitely was not my month, but hopefully I will end the year in November and December on a positive and HEALTHY note. (:

Savannah

Fast Pace Start

Already a month into this semester and not only has it flown by, it has been very challenging. There was not any sort of transition from summer to the fall, I just began at a fast pace. However, it is keeping me on my toes and I have accomplished so much.

My classes are going really well. For once, I love all of them and feel confident in the work I am putting in to them. Right now, it feels like I am at midterms considering my work load. After this week it will die down a bit before midterms actually happen in a month.

My internship at the Immigration Law Center of Minnesota is going so well. I am learning about grant writing and helping take on the Development side of the office. It is good for me to get experience in a field I am interested and not only see what I like from it but also what I don’t like. Learning both sides is very important.

My event planning job on campus is also going great. I have had two events this month, a hypnotist and a musical artist, and the turnout was higher than I anticipated. At the hypnotist event, there was an incident where a guy who was hypnotized on stage ran off and out the building. So that caused so chaos… Turns out he snapped out of hypnosis on the stage and had no idea what to do besides leave the building. What a night.

I am already ready for Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break, but who isn’t at this point? A big and warm hello to everyone at Concord! I miss you all and miss seeing you every week.

Savannah