Robin Pittman has just been accepted into the Winter Term Study Away program with WKU. She is going to Hawaii to complete a geography course. She is very excited as she states, “The course looks like it will be fairly easy and the rest of the trip will be devoted to having fun and exploring Hawaii.”
Pittman is also nervous, though. Her roommate, Olivia, is going with her, and last night Olivia had a dream about getting attacked by sharks. Swimming with sharks is one of the activities they will be doing. “I am worried that Olivia will not want to go after having this dream,” Pittman says. Pittman thinks sharks are scary too, obviously, but she thinks it would be a lot of fun seeing them up-close. “It will be like real life Shark Week!” she exclaims.
Pittman is nervous about flying, also. She’s only flown on a plane twice and she was during middle school so she barely remembers it. She is very afraid of heights. “I couldn’t even look over the rail on the third floor of MMTH without freaking out,” she says. Not only will she have to fly to Hawaii and back, but she also will have to take a helicopter ride during the trip. Pittman thinks she can handle the plane, but says, “I’m sure I will have a panic attack on the helicopter.” She knows, though, the more she faces her fears, the easier it will be for her in the future.
Besides all the worrying, Pittman is optimistic that this will be a great trip. She’ll get to do lots of fun things like explore a volcano and take surf lessons. She’s never done either of these, so she is looking forward to the new experience.
Pittman never had an interest in traveling until this summer when her brother and her friend from home traveled to different places around the world. “They showed me cool pictures and told me interesting stories, convincing me that I had to travel, too,” she explains. She knows that Hawaii is just another part of the United States but she has never been outside of the continental United States, so that in itself will be a stepping stone for her. Also, Hawaii’s culture seems to be very different than that of Kentucky’s or any of the other places Pittman has visited so she’s eager to see what it is like.
Pittman is already planning to visit different places in the future. Next summer, there is a study abroad trip to Japan. “The trip is focusing on digital filmmaking which is part of my major so I am very interested in it,” says Pittman. It will be chance for her, not only to have a fun summer trip in a different country, but also to learn more about her major and future career. “Hopefully, I can find more new exciting places to travel to each year or so,” she says.