Travel Log 2: “Looking Behind and Looking Ahead: Rites of Separation” by Jenna Paul. Los Angeles, CA.

Home for me in Los Angeles is a very safe and comfortable place. I have my friends and family here as well as the fact that I live in the same house that I grew up in. Although for the last two years I have gotten used to moving away to go to at Quinnipiac, this feels different. There are many similarities to my departures, but leaving the country takes everything one step further.

When I thought about writing my separation letter and when I would give it to my parents it was not easy to decide. It’s hard leaving a place that is so safe and comfortable for an unknown land where everything is uncertain at this time. I chose to read my letter to my parents at dinner at home. I figured this would be the best time to have them both around and not working.

I started with a quote that says, “In life sometimes we fail and sometimes we succeed, but usually we learn most from the journey” –unknown. I like this quote because just being on this journey will teach me so much about the world and myself, although I might fail at times and it might be difficult at times. I have a feeling this journey is going to be amazing, but I also know it will be very challenging at times as well. It all comes along with leaving my safe zone at home. I also know that my time at Quinnipiac so far has taught me so much about myself as a person because of the distance from home. It is not always easy, but I know I am so much stronger because of it. I can only hope being in Ireland gives me even more strength and also teaches me a lot along the way.

My separation letter brought out a lot of emotions, which I knew would happen with my parents and myself. We are very close and in the end it was really great to hear how excited they are for me. They reassured me that they are always here for me no matter how far away I am. Overall, it was a great talk with my parents and I know feel that I can completely separate and begin my study abroad experience.

A successful education abroad experience to me would be growing in independence and all around as a person. I hope to learn about the world from a different angle than what I have learned about in America for my whole life. I hope to learn about the history of the Irish and hear stories from locals about their experiences. An unsuccessful education abroad experience would be just going to class and only hanging with Americans. That would be just like going to school in America and would defeat the purpose of going abroad at all in my opinion.

I know and understand there will be great challenges ahead that I am not expecting. From my experience moving to Connecticut I had a lot of challenges that I never saw coming as well. For example, I never lived in snow before and that was extremely hard to adjust to. I had never experienced seasons so the fact that weather could completely change that drastically was mind blowing to me. So yes, I am aware that many things can happen that I am will just have to accept. I am ready for a huge change in friendships and lifestyle and completely open to appreciate the diversity that comes with it all.

IMG_1626I chose this photo because although I will be leaving the beauty of home, I hope to find the beauty in Ireland. I know it will be a different kind of beauty, but hopefully I will learn to love it and be able to call it home as well. It will be challenging at times, but hopefully in the end it will be the best experience I have ever had and bring many memories for the years to come!


4 thoughts on “Travel Log 2: “Looking Behind and Looking Ahead: Rites of Separation” by Jenna Paul. Los Angeles, CA.

  1. I never really thought of the challenge of changing climates when going to different areas and how much it can effect on one’s life. It must have been an interesting adjustment in climate from California to Connecticut and it’s definitely going to be an even more interesting adjustment in climate going to Ireland. I’ve been reading up on the climate there recently and apparently they have had an unusual amount of rain these past couple months, so I am curious how much of a challenge that will become to our abroad experience.


    • Absolutely! The most interesting part is how people don’t let the weather affect them. They just go on with their day as if nothing is wrong. At least that is how it was for me adjusting to the snow. People just don’t mind it and I am sure that is how the rain will be to people in Ireland. We just have to get used to it and not let it affect us!


  2. I love the photo that you chose for to reflect how you are feeling so far in this experience. I had picked a picture that was more of a image of a brainstorm of circles to kind of describe all the different feelings going on inside of my head. I like that you focused your picture on the beauty of home and how you hope to find beauty in Ireland. It is interesting how people can have such unique perspectives from a similar question.


  3. Hi Jenna, I love the quote that you chose to share with your parents. I think that because we are all still so young, It’s sometimes hard to realize that not everything is about the result and the end product. Instead, it is about how you get to the final point and what you learn along the way. As I go through these next few months, I am sure that I will have some failures and hopefully some successes, but I will remember this quote to keep in mind that these things are helping me learn.


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