Semester at Sea 2017
“My name is Tillmon; I am from a small, rural town outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, but I go to Hampden-Sydney College located in central Virginia.” This is the line I’ve been saying for the past two weeks while trying meet all the new people that I’ll be spending the rest of four months on a ship with.
I am currently sailing to Kobe, Japan from Honolulu, Hawaii. I have now been a part of the sea-life for eight days, and even though my voyage has been to one port, I have seen some of the most wonderful and beautiful parts of the earth.
I originally applied for Semester at Sea with uncertain expectations. I mean, who gets to sail around the world and see the places that you only see on National Geographic while taking classes for school credit?! I’ll be honest, even though I’ve been on the voyage for a little over a week, it still hasn’t settled with me yet.
Like I said earlier, I am traveling from Hawaii to Japan. I had never been to Hawaii before, but all I know is that I want to go back as soon as possible. I was lucky enough to have a field class (every class has one of these) that went to the University of Hawaii. Here, we listened to two environmentalists that spoke with us about Hawaii’s environmental policy. Their focus was to have freshwater sustainability on the island. Afterwards, we ate lunch and then traveled to Hanauma Bay. I was speechless when I saw the landscape. I had never seen anything more tropical. I’ve only seen these types of places in pictures! While we were at the bay, we snorkeled and got to see the different types of marine life.
The day came to an end and my roommate and I were standing out on one of the decks. As the ship began to depart, the reality hit me pretty hard that I wouldn’t see the United States again until I come home (and on the other side). All I could think was “oh man, I’m actually doing this.” Nevertheless, I am excited about my voyage, and I hope to learn as much as I can about all the cultures around the world. Not many people realize that they have a singular view about places. I know that I am/was like this, so I want to experience first-hand and share my stories with others.