Sometimes You Have To Just Go

I'm going to Africa!!!

I know you were all dying to know, so I figured I'd just get to the point. I am so excited to share with y'all that this summer I will be studying abroad in Namibia, a country in southern Africa! From July 9th to August 7th, I will travel across the diverse African landscape with fellow Aggies and professors, studying Photojournalism and Cultural  Pluralism in Agriculture. I'm blessed with all the wonderful people in my life supporting me through this great adventure! I can't wait to dive in head first and embrace the African culture, experience their unique agricultural practices, and gain photojournalism techniques and skills that will be useful in all my future endeavors. Stay with me, y'all for the how, the why, and the what the heck am I thinking! 

My dear friend Abby recently said to me, "Nineteen is the best time to travel." She genuinely knows this to be true, considering she spent most of  nineteen serving the Lord in Guatemala. However, it wasn't the words that urged me to confirm my acceptance. It was the fact that she said them, despite her bitter thoughts of me being away from home, yet another month. Thank you, Abby and all my friends encouraging me to go. 

With that being said, it's settled, nineteen will hold adventure. The thought of studying abroad crossed my mind frequently. But it was never something I planned on doing THIS SUMMER. No way. I'm a planner, and this certainly was not the plan.

The How: I was sitting in my ag communications class when Dr. Redwine came in to talk about the trip. Something about it lured me in and I left class thinking, I want to go to Africa! Crazy, right? The very next day, my life went insane. In the midst of my blog going crazy with thousands of views on my response to PETA and surviving my second week of classes, I took a leap of faith and emailed Dr. Redwine. The deadline to apply for study abroad and scholarships was February 1st, I had six days...  Normally, I would take six months to contemplate something this important. But for whatever reason, something felt right and I went for it!

The Why: After a meeting, an application, and an interview, I found out last Monday that I was accepted! I cried. Now, that brings me to the why. And the answer to that is simple, why not? Every aspect of this opportunity is me. I love agriculture, photography, writing, and travel. 

Like I said, normally I am a planner. Spur of the moment decisions make me crazy. So this brings me to the, what the heck am I thinking? I told Nolan I was writing this and he said to me, with a chuckle, "where did this all come from anyways?" To be honest, I'm really not sure. Something about this opportunity captured my sense of adventure and wouldn't let go. I heard the words "photography" and "Africa" and I thought, SOLD! When again will I be able to spend a whole month traveling through the African deserts, taking pictures of wildlife, and documenting my experiences? How rare is an opportunity to meet the natives of Namibia, from the traditional tribes to the agribusiness owners, and learn about their way of life? Everything about it feels right. I'm trusting my gut on this one, and the big man upstairs. Opportunities like this don't come around every day and I am truly blessed.

I plan on sharing my adventure through my blog. I'm excited to be wandering to new places and even more excited to share it with you! 

Thank you for reading and thank you for support!


Julia Grace