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We are excited to introduce you to this week’s Globespinner of the Week, Shannon Duffy. Shannon is a recent college grad who loves to travel. She had the opportunity to study abroad twice.

Like many of us, Shannon has been officially bitten by the travel bug and has big plans to see the world. We’re lucky that she’s already shared a few trips on Globespinning. We’ve highlighted one of then that she called “Paris For The Weekend.” Enjoy Shannon’s itineraries as well as her interview below.

GS: Can you share with us a little bit about yourself?
SD: I am originally from Seattle and have since returned after graduating from college. After applying to several universities, I decided that Pacific Lutheran University, in Tacoma, would be the best fit– namely because of their fabulous Study Away Program that could mean that I went away on 5+ trips. This is because they offer a program called January Term (J-term) where students are able to take a class that is actually in a country associated with that area of study– think art history in Italy, Greek religion in Greece, Spanish in Uruguay, etc– as well as have created several PLU specific semester programs in places like Windehoek, Namibia, Chengdu, China, Oaxca, Mexico and Oslo and Telemark, Norway. I only could fit 1 semester and 1 Jterm away in during my time at PLU as I pursued a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and was very involved in the Office of Admission, but even just going away twice was more than enough to set my travel bug in full swing.

GS: Can you share about your study abroad experience, do you have a few favorite destinations & why?
SD: I chose to forgo one of the PLU options for my semester away and instead went to Barcelona, Spain with what we call an “Approved Program” through IES. I spent my semester exploring Spain –Madrid, Granada, La Coruña, Girona, Cadaqués– with a few trips to Paris and Italy sprinkled in. Then after my program ended, my friend and I criss-crossed Europe getting a taste of places like Athens, Santorini, Budapest, Megidia, Dublin, Mainz, and Prague. It was such a fantastic experience, taking in the very different cultures, languages, and foods and meeting so many other wandering travelers along the way! As cliche as it is, I truly loved them all. From the green hills in Ireland, to the bridges in Prague, to the beaches in Greece, I have a place in my heart for each of them and have no idea which one I will return back to first.

GS: What is one tip you would give someone planning to study abroad?
SD: Take time to just aimlessly wander! Whether that means walking home from school without using a map or just setting off to see what you can find one afternoon, the places you stumble upon and the things that you will see this way will be way more of a highlight than spending a few hours at another museum. And make sure you look up, not just at your feet 😉

GS: What trip/trips are you planning next, or any destinations that are on your list of places you can’t wait to see?
SD: My friend is moving to Peru in March with the Peace Corp and so plans are already in works to visit her and to see Machu Picchu! Beyond that, Thailand, Croatia, and Iceland keep calling my name, now it just is a matter of figuring out when and how!

Well said Shannon and thank you for being our Globespinner of the Week!