Photo Essay 2017

Devin Morrison

morrison

Essay

Attempting to Describe My Semester at Sea Voyage

How do I narrow down my Semester at Sea study abroad experience to less than 400 words? How can you take a four month, 12 country, once in a lifetime voyage and shrink it down to just 400 words? What do you choose to talk about? What do you choose to omit? How do you condense all that I experienced and learned to just a few hundred words?

How is it possible to describe the beautiful views of Hawaii with its bright blue ocean and its rich green hills?  How would one describe the overwhelming distraught feeling that I got in Japan, when I toured Hiroshima’s monuments and saw firsthand the destruction of the atom bomb? Or the awe-inspiring emotion I got while standing on the largest man-made structure on earth, The Great Wall of China? How could you describe what it was like to look at an old picture of a destroyed mangrove forest in Viet Nam, and the next day canoe through the same forest now lush and alive? How could you have enough words to properly portray all the magic I felt watching a sunrise while sitting on an ancient temple in Myanmar? What about the beautiful architecture and delicious dishes of India? How about the experience of a day in the life of a South African women, when I spent a night at Mama Mpumie’s home? How could 400 hundred words show the excitement of swimming under Ghana’s tallest waterfall, just to be interrupted by the sudden appearance of hundreds of fruit bats flying overhead? Would it even be feasible to explain what it was like in Morocco to relax in the cool shade drinking sweet mint tea? How can it be possible to cram in all the history, art and food from Germany in just 400 words?  Or the many fond memories I had at sea participating in events or standing solo on deck nine looking out over the vast ocean?

What about all the people I got to meet, the friends I made, all the laughs and challenges, how could I describe those? How could one explain all that I saw and did and learned and constrict it to only 400 words? How could you fathom compressing all the adventures I had while traveling the world to just 400 measly words? The answer is simple, you can’t.

japan
A-Bomb Dome Memorial in Hiroshima, Japan

myanmar
Enjoying a sunrise on top of a temple with my friends in Bagon, Myanmar (Burma).

india
Amber Fort in Jaipur, India.

ghana
Global Mamas (a Fair Trade store) employees making headbands in Accra, Ghana.

shellback
Kissing a fish to become a Shellback (one who sails through the equator) at the Neptune Day Celebration on the Atlantic Ocean aboard the MV World Odyssey.