Richland Student Media

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Richland Student Media

Richland Student Media

Dallas


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Richland Chronicle 5/07/24
Richland Chronicle 5/07/24

Traveling the world for summer vacation

The 5,000 mile aerial journey from Dallas to Lund, Sweden, takes nearly 12 hours to complete. (Image/Google Maps)

Summer vacation can be a great time to rest and unwind with the right company and the right air conditioning, or to kick things into high gear with summer classes if that’s more your speed.

Beating the heat and staying productive needn’t be mutually exclusive, though, and there are some more exotic ways to pull that off if you feel the burning desire to do so.

Besides the hectic scramble to prepare for and attend nationals for SkillsUSA in Atlanta, I also took the leap to attend a developer seminar in the 1,000-year city of Lund, Sweden.

Everything is bigger in Texas and so is the heat, so when given the opportunity to escape the triple digits for a week or so, no destination is too far away. I had flown across the drink to Scandinavia once before, and I was eager to return for the summer experience.

The best way to get to southern Sweden is to land in Copenhagen, Denmark, and take a train across the border. The currency and language of the two countries are different, but most every- one speaks English as a second language, and most everything can be purchased with a card.

There is no shortage of things to see and do, and the European architecture is magnificent. The days are comfortable and the evenings can become quite cool. Sweden is at the equivalent latitude of Canada, so it was interesting to see the sun rise at 4 a.m.

I had the serendipitous timing of being there to celebrate Sweden’s 500th anniversary. It was wonderful to see and learn of the history of the Viking settlers in the region, and of the medieval city layout still in use today. The native cuisine was wonderful as well, with my personal favorite and recommendation being the schnitzel.

As pleasant as the experience was, the true reason I was there was to attend and present at a 3D software developer seminar in the chapter house near the city’s cathedral.

I cannot speak for all majors or walks of life, but for creative ventures, college is an investment of the mind. The degree is proof that you have been introduced to concepts and have proven yourself as an individual who can be relied upon, but a thorough education requires active participation in seeking lasting experiences, life lessons and supportive friendships that go far beyond the requirements of simply attaining a grade.

If given an opportunity to participate in something potentially outside of your comfort zone, whether through college or anything else, I encourage you to go for it. People are far more loving and accepting than they seem, and if anything, you can frame it as a way to escape the monotony of everyday life, at least for a little while.

After taking off in Copenhagen at noon and landing in Montreal at noon for what may be the longest day I’ll ever experience, I can say traveling is a good way to find that escape.

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