Category: In the World (page 1 of 15)

Stories about traveling regionally, nationally, or globally!

“On Connections & Croissants” by Lauren Mottel

The morning sun greets you from its climb in the sky as you exit the train station, backlit by clear blue skies and seagulls circling overhead. You don’t even have to think as the click of your boots on the pavement guide you across the street to a small storefront with an orange awning. As you cross the threshold, an 8-bit rendition of “Für Elise” announces your presence to the display case of croissants, torsades aux pommes, chocolate muffins, and other treasured pastries. And there, before you and your friends can take a half-step further into the bakery, the owner excitedly walks out from the back kitchen exclaiming, Les filles! Bonjour, les filles! and ushering the cashier away so she can select our pastries for us with a grin. 

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“Living in a World of Canyons” by Raktim Basu

Spirals upon spirals upon spirals.

That’s what filled up Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon in Arizona. Water had rushed through, carving a swerving, graceful path of twists and turns that went on for hours of walking. Over millions of years, the rock had worn away, and the water had receded, making the perfect display of the strength of rivers.

That was just a piece of my trip into the Four Corners states (Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada). Before this spring break, I’d never gone anywhere except for Colorado, and I had never seen the deserts of the Midwest or the number of incredible canyons present there.

But from Bryce Canyon to the Grand Canyon, from massive and incredibly varied rock formation after rock formation, I began to see the world differently. All of my life in the U.S., I’ve lived in suburban areas, surrounded by concrete and ease of accessibility. But from hotel to hotel, with three-hour stretches of desert driving, without another soul on the road, I got a sense for how big the world is.

And let me tell you, it changes how you see things. Standing on the precipice of one of the biggest canyons in the world makes you feel small. The untold scale shocks you, and the unbelievable variety of what you can see in nature is just… Astounding! From patterns of yellow to bright orange, to rocky slopes topped in snow and coniferous trees, to gleaming formations of fire-colored rock — the marvelousness of nature is unparalleled, and to begin to describe the enormity of nature is an almost impossible task.

But that’s just the thing about experiences beyond words. They’re the true memories we will always have. While I know I can never share my love of the canyons of the Midwest with people and have it resonate with them to the same extent, I know that what I saw will stick with me forever. As Honors students, we get an incredible set of faculty, friends, and chances to explore the beauty of the world, both man-made and natural. But as Honors students, we also have an obligation to explore the things in the world that we can’t really capture with words and can only capture with rapture and awe.

So the next time you get the chance to explore the world, take it. Live in a world where everything amazes you. Don’t be afraid to see the world to its fullest extent, and if you don’t have words to describe what you take in, take it as a good sign!

My Virtual International Internship by Lauren Mottel

By the end of last fall semester, I knew I needed a serious recharge. It started fairly well and carried on as well as semesters can go, but after retrospect (which most realizations are apt to stem from), I had a delayed realization as to why that post-finals, drained feeling was hanging a bit heavier over my shoulders. 

After the collective last-minute struggle of abruptly adapting and transitioning to virtual learning last spring, as well as my choice to take a class over the summer, I realized that this past fall was the first fully virtual semester, stacked credits and all. Sure, it may have been a not-so-sharp realization, but knowledge is power, and this definitely had an impact on me. Last fall was neither the hybrid mix of the spring nor a single class over June. It was a set of core courses, heavy with foundational curriculum, and for some of them, the additional rigorous standards and expectations of my Honors sections—all of which were taken while I wrapped myself in a blanket at my desk at home. 

So yes, suffice it to say that the build-up of Zoom fatigue from last fall more than definitely garnered some much needed R&R and winter break was a welcome reprieve. However, I knew I shouldn’t stay idle for too long, lest I mentally regress and sink into the Lauren-shaped mold in my couch for the next four weeks. Despite the extremely valid need for rest, I knew I wanted to be productive over winter session, especially considering I didn’t do very much during this time the previous year. (Hindsight at its finest once again.)

Therefore, this past January I was fortunate enough to participate in a virtual international engineering internship, which not only kept me from withdrawing into a weighted blanket-induced hibernation but more significantly helped me gain great work experience in a really unique way. I was placed in a group with other UD engineers and paired off with the medical device company Renerve Ltd. based in Melbourne, Australia. Our task was to design and formulate a surgical implant product that met a desired function and applications and to provide a full-scale proposal for the product rationale, research and development, regulatory pathways, manufacturing, and marketing strategies—all within four weeks.  Continue reading

“A Trip to the Big Apple” by Lauren Wrightstone

My friends in Redding and I had been wanting to take a trip to the “Big Apple,” or New York City, for a while now. It was originally just timing and money holding us back—buses are expensive!—so when we found out that the English Language Institute was sponsoring a bus ride there and back for only twenty dollars, we hopped on it.  Continue reading

“An Early Taste of Fall at Milburn” by Lauren Wrightstone

As I pulled myself out of bed at nine o’clock AM on a Saturday, I knew my roommate was asking herself the same thing I was: is this worth it? One look at the busy but adorable orchards we were visiting was all it took to know it was. 

We met the Honors Planning Board in front of Perkins and piled fourteen people into three University of Delaware vans. We were off. It was a shorter drive than expected.

Milburn Orchards has a large wagon to transport you from the parking lot (I use that in the loosest sense of the word; it was a field) to their apple orchards. These were our first stop when we finally got there around ten thirty. They had three different kinds of apples to choose from. I stuck with my golden delicious, but my friends branched out a bit, plucking red delicious and mutsu off the trees, all of which are dwarfs, to make it easier for visitors to pick fruit. 

The red delicious is known to be juicy but fairly tasteless, while the golden delicious is much sweeter. Personally, I like my fruit to be sweeter, which is why I stuck with the golden delicious. The mutsu, on the other hand, is also sweet, supposedly with a bit of spice. I had never tried that type before, so I didn’t get a lot of them. The one I’ve eaten did taste good, though.

Once we’d exhausted our apple-picking energy, we headed for the “Big Backyard,” otherwise known as the petting zoo, where they keep all the animals. Inside, we made a beeline for the baby goats.

As my friends and I squealed over the cuteness overload, a goose squawked because there were three geese in a pen on the other side of the baby goats. I have yet to figure out why. The brave people surrounding that pen probably appreciated their presence, though. 

There were also pigs, rabbits, quail, a horse, a donkey, and a Scottish Highland cow. The minute my friend, Abbie, saw the horse, we lost her. Soon enough she was patiently teaching small children how to safely interact with the large animal while we joked that she should be getting paid. The parents surrounding us certainly thought she was. 

Our next stop was the market, where the many local products Milburn carries are sold. It was almost entirely delicious-smelling food (especially pastries). There were even special apple cider donuts that they made right there in the store. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to try my apple cider donut due to a mishap while warming it up later that day. I won’t get into it now (I could have sworn the instructions said to warm it for one minute), but I was disappointed. My roommate thoroughly enjoyed hers and did not share. Portia (my roommate) is actually the one pictured above. I think her giant apple find clearly emphasizes the enjoyment we experienced throughout the trip.

I wouldn’t have even known Milburn existed if not for the Honors Planning Board organizing this event, which I found out about through the weekly Honors newsletter. Overall, the trip was very well organized and fun, and I would definitely go on another trip with the group.

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