Student Adventures Around The World

Lauren

Lauren, SMU-in-Taos

Lauren is a senior majoring in journalism.

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June 22, 2006

It's during times like these when you break out of your comfort zone (mine being Dallas), that you learn the most about yourself. I'm currently in Taos, NM finishing my degree for SMU.

Backwoods, gravel roads, in the midst of the Carson National Forest. Hummingbirds, beautiful butterflies and bunny rabbits are among the natural habitat I sit in everyday. Catching a Rainbow Trout 20 paces from my backdoor is common. It's not something I can do in Dallas. It's beautiful out here- but what's more beautiful is the feeling you get when immersed in it.

Being raised in the Dallas Metroplex always made me wonder if I could ever stand being out of a major city for more than a week. I am homesick...yes, I miss my friends and family, but there's something about the simple life that tugs at my heart strings. Life here moves a lot slower... slow enough so you can appreciated it. It's been an amazing run here. I only wish I could have shared this experience with some of my closest friends. Its true- you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl.

June 16, 2006

After an extensive road trip driving 4 hours to the Guadalupe River in New Braunsfuls, making my way 15 hours to Colorado Springs to watch my cousin graduate from the Air Force Academy (which was, by the way, the most amazing graduation I have ever seen), and booking it down to Taos in five hours (which I thought would take 3), I made it- Only to find out I was a day early!

Haha! That's what you get when you spend a week and a half away from the internet! How the heck did people survive without it!

Anyway, it was a good thing because I had to send my sister via shuttle to Albuquerque at 7:00 A.M. this morning in order to get her on her flight back to Austin. I guess things just end up working themselves out.

After waking up in the igloo of a room I was staying in (the thermostat read 53 degrees when I woke up), I went to lunch with my friend Roberto who had stuck around Taos from the Maymester. We went to Michael's Kitchen, a local's restaurant, which had the best "Poor Man's" eggs benedict I have ever had.

From Michael's Kitchen, Roberto took me for a surprise. 20 minutes later and I was what felt like in the middle of no where...then my jaw dropped to the floor board of his big-wheeled Expedition. It was the Rio Grande Gorge, one of the most spectacular sites I have ever seen. It was right then when I knew my adventure in Taos had begun. As we drove over the second highest suspension bridge in the nation I peered over the edge and from that angle, couldn't see the bottom. Holy "cheese and rice" was all I kept repeating in my head.

Within 10 minutes we had hopped out of his "Tonka" truck and begun our hike toward the middle of the bridge. Cameras in hand, we had just made it to the middle when a semi came roaring across the bridge. As it passed us, the bridge shook and bounced, wildly enough for me to grab hold of the steel bars beside me. Plummeting 800 feet to the bottom of the gorge with no bungy cord was not what I had in mind. We looked down at the magnificent crevice that took millions of years to form. Amazing! It took 13 seconds for a rock the size of a quarter to hit the bottom. Standing in the middle of the bridge gave me a sense of how small and seemingly insignificant I really am. It is at times like these I appreciate life and realize how quick human life really is. 23-year-old me was standing on a suspension bridge completed 50 years earlier over a massive gorge that had taken millions of years to create. When I am long gone, this crevice will continue to deepen. To me, that is absolutely incredible.

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