Thesis Title

Ports of Entry

Major Department

Journalism and Mass Communication


College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2019

Honors Major Advisor

Travis Vogan

Thesis Mentor

Don McLeese


I’m by no means the most seasoned traveler in the world, but I’ve been on two amazing international journeys so far in my life: four months studying abroad on Semester at Sea and a month-long backpacking trip through Europe with my best friend. One of the things I’ve always regretted most about my travels is that I never seemed to get as much out of them as I thought other people did. They all had life-altering, earth-shatteringly deep reflections to share with everyone once they returned. Meanwhile, I couldn’t figure out how to tear my gaze away from my future plans long enough to focus inwards. But, as is the case with most things in life, I just needed a little distance and a little time. Maybe my experiences hadn’t been earth-shattering, but they were life-altering, in ways that were both subtle and significant. As it turns out, traveling impacted me more than I had thought, and these five stories helped me figure out how.

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Copyright (c) 2019 Alaina Handrick