Wednesday, September 9, 2015

What-to-Know Wednesday : The Stories Behind My Bulletin Board

 Hello all!

When you go away to school- whether it's your freshman year or your junior year- it's important to bring parts of your home home to your second home. It could be stuffed animals, family photos, or in my case, it could be a bulletin board showcasing some memorable moments from the past couple of years.

Not only does it make my dorm room a little homier, but it also reminds me of some of my favorite places, things I've accomplished, and some amazing things I've crossed off the bucket list recently!

I also included a photo of my bulletin board in the last What-to-Know Wednesday, so I thought it would be fun to go through everything this week and provide backstories for each memento that's tacked up there!

First thing's first- this is a visitor map from one of my favorite places back home: Rockport, MA! It's an adorable little coastal town, and I've made a point to get there at least a couple of times each summer for the past two years.

This is a map from when my boyfriend and I visited Montreal for a weekend in our freshman year. For those of you considering a spontaneous getaway, be warned that it's not a cheap trip- but it's a lot of fun if you plan ahead and spend wisely! 
Yet another map- this time a trail map from a hike I took this summer up Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire! It was a super strenuous but fun hike, with a breathtaking, rewarding view from the top!
My souvenir from the premier of the second Hunger Games movie!
My ticket from a Ben & Jerry's factory tour this past winter! We had already been in the area all weekend skiing Stowe, so we figured we'd make a stop on the way back.
Our freshman year, my boyfriend and I dressed as a cowboy and cowgirl for the Halloween Dance, and I've kept my "holster" ever since!

The trail map from the hike we just took this past weekend at Camel's Hump!
A little friendship charm that a coworker of mine from home gave all us girls at the end of the summer. It was another great summer lifeguarding at the YWCA in Newburyport, MA. I worked with a lot of great people who, if they weren't already, became even greater friends.
Naturally, I've saved the best for last: the mementos from my study tour to China this summer! It was an incredible trip, through which I learned so much about another part of the world, and more importantly, about myself. At times, it was certainly no picnic. It was challenging and testing. We were so fully immersed in a culture so vastly different from our own, with people who led lives profoundly different from ours, in a part of the world I never thought I'd see. However, I'm so glad that I did it. I proved to myself that I could eat pigeon meat and drink camel milk. I proved to myself that I could hike to the world's tallest natural arch and climb the untouched, forbidden sections of the Great Wall of China (and lemme tell ya, those were no Camel's Hump). I proved to myself that I could camp out in freezing temperatures and explore the city in scorching heat (in a country that doesn't believe in cold beverages, mind you). I proved to myself that I could come within a mile from the border to the Middle East, surrounded by crowds of Arabic-speaking strangers who couldn't seem to wrap their minds around why we were there. I bought a bracelet from a vendor on the modern-day Silk Roads. I rode a camel on a three-hour-trek to our campsite. Craziest of all, I braved all the bodily functions sans toilet. And those are stories I'll have to tell for a lifetime.
Leftover currency from China that couldn't be converted back to US dollars. (Referred to jokingly by my leading professor as "Mao Bucks" throughout the trip.)
And, lastly, my favorite part of going to China: riding this gorgeous creature, whom I fondly nicknamed Sheila, three hours through the Taklamakan Desert (also known as the Sea of Death). In a fleet of moody, loud, unpredictable camels, Sheila was calm, cool and collected. I mean, she knew enough to pose for this picture and look right at the camera, so that should tell you everything. I'll always remember Sheila as my good friend across the world.

What would you put on your bulletin board?

See you all next time for Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 13th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

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