Looking for Alaska? Looking for Purpose.

As a young, enthusiastic, and life-filled youth with the entire world under my feet, I’ve always wanted to travel. There are so many places I want to see and things I want to experience in my life time.

But not just travel anywhere. When I say I want to travel I mean to very specific places. These places are often locations that I feel drawn too, whether for a silly reason or a very specific symbolic one.  But no matter what the reason, I know I’m meant to be there.

In a way that’s what happened with this trip to Alaska. I had heard about Creighton’s Backpack Journalism trip on my first day in the journalism department, and I’ll admit, back then I wasn’t so sure I’d ever go. The idea was so profound and out-there for me, that I got an uncomfortable feeling; the kind where you know you’d be out of your comfort zone. So I ended up putting it out of my mind.

Fast forward about a year and all the sudden I was seeing posters again for this program; but something was different. Something was drawing me in, causing me to say “Yes, this is where I want to go; where I should go.”

Now I’m still not exactly sure what is was that drew me in. I’m still not sure what this trip will bring me, or what I’ll learn or experience. Trying to figure it out for myself, however, I realized something. I’ve gotten to go to some beautiful places in my life already, and there are many more I still need to see. But I have yet to go someplace that has challenged me to be more beautiful. *me trying to be all poetic

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But what I mean is, I have yet to go to a place where I can take something back with me to keep throughout my life that isn’t  some corny souvenir. I’m looking for an experience; an experience of a lifetime. A reason for being somewhere other than my own pleasure. A chance to maybe make some kind of difference, or to learn something that can lead me to that. A chance to really get out of my comfort zone, and experience something new. A chance to meet new people, and learn their culture and their story, while simultaneously learning about my own.

This is a trip with a purpose – obviously – and yet it isn’t. There is so much opportunity in this trip, and while there is still so much unknown, so much I can hope for, expect, and anticipate, one way or a another this trip with be three things: inspirational, reflective, and life-changing.

I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for, and I don’t know exactly what I’ll see when I’m there, but what I do know is that this is will be no ordinary trip; but somehow it will be beautiful.

“Thomas Edison’s last words were ‘It’s very beautiful over there’. I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.”
― John GreenLooking for Alaska

Leah Renaud

About Leah Renaud

My Name is Leah Renaud.. I am a Senior journalism student studying Public Relations/Graphic Design at Creighton University. Driven by a desire to learn and gain new insight, I learn by doing and therefore am constantly working on my design, writing, and public relations abilities. A proud BlueJay fan, Internet explorer, lover of puns, superhero nerd, a Dreamer and Doer.

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