Exploring New Territory

"Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?"

I am an explorer. At 10 months old, my travels began with my family’s first move. Over the years, we have been relocated because of my father’s company, gradually bringing a family of five from East to West. Five states, five homes, and five experiences: I am from where I have been.

Wandering is said to be aimless and with no purpose, and each moment my father sat my siblings and me down, I would have agreed with this seemingly appropriate definition to describe moving. There was no reason for me to start all over again as the alien outsider in a new school each time; my dad did not need to accept another new job opportunity. As I wandered however, I learned, I adapted, and I became somebody who thrived in new environments, taking in new cultures and ideas along the way. There was a purpose, and in it I grew from a wanderer into something else, an explorer.

I have had the privilege to not only discover diversity but to distinguish and develop myself in each and every state: New York, Virginia, Minnesota, Arizona, and California. From shoveling snow in Minnesota to hiking through cacti in Arizona, the transitions were both intimidating and exciting. At a young age I learned to adjust to new people and places. Not wanting to be...

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