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The Travelling Conservator

Tea on Sandia Peak

USA | Monday, 28 April 2014 | Views [75] | Scholarship Entry

Until the age of 23, I had barely travelled outside of the American northeast. Less than four years later, I am living in Edinburgh. Until now, I have spent two and a half years living and studying conservation in London, and have had the opportunity to live and intern in Lisbon, where I worked for the top-flight football (soccer) club Sport Lisboa e Benfica as well as on an archaeological site outside the town of Kaman in Turkey. Since then, I have also couchsurfed in Cairo; visited Brussels, Paris, Dresden, Munich, Prague, and Budapest; toured Ireland by train; and travelled by train through Morocco and then ferry onto Gibraltar. This summer, I will be moving to Athens to work with an archaeological site there.
Although I have thoroughly enjoyed my adventures throughout Europe and Northern Africa, I’ll never forget the first adventure that I went on. Before I left the States, I realized that I needed to become more familiar with my country of origin and get used to travelling. So, I embarked on a two week-long cross country adventure, taking various trains from New York City to Chicago to San Francisco to Los Angeles to Albuquerque. I couchsurfed through Chicago and Los Angeles, and stayed in a hostel in San Francisco, and with a friend in New Mexico. Although this trip had many memorable moments, I will never forget my 24th birthday, 3 June, which signaled that my cross-country adventure was coming to an end. I had just ridden American’s longest single-span aerial tramway to the top of Sandia Peak carrying a thermos of tea. Sitting on a crest of the mountain, with the wind whipping my hair, I remember looking over the faded desert landscape and feeling disbelief and wonder as I sipped my tea, thinking that my adventure was really only just beginning.
This year, on my 27th birthday, I will climb Arthur’s Seat Volcano, an ancient dormant volcano in the heart of my current adventure in Edinburgh. I actually live right next to the park that surrounds it, and can see the summit from my front door. Even though I’ve climbed it before, I will bring a thermos of tea and sit at the summit, enjoying the wind as it whips my hair. I’ll look over Edinburgh and reminisce about all the adventures that I’ve been on over the past four years, and I’ll remember the moment marked the start of it all: taking tea on Sandia Peak exactly four years ago.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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