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Graduation, gap year are tickets to world travel

For cosmopolitan Ray, experience is the best teacher

Kya Blount and Grace Brady, Knight assistant editors

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[In China,] I learned how bad the lunch was in America compared to other countries.”

— Graduate Erin Ray

Erin Ray has spent a majority of her high school life traveling the world; she has been to Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, England, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Norway and Sweden. Ray said the reason she was interested in traveling was because her favorite childhood book, Horowitz, is based in London, and she wanted to go there.

“It was a fun read in middle school,” Ray said. “It was an action series and made the locations seem more exciting.”

Ray’s latest trip took her to Shanghai, China, for the bulk of the fall semester in her junior year, but her trip was cut short because of the stress she had relating to the school.

“The school systems in China are extremely stressful, long and entirely based on memorization,” Ray said “School is from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with an extra four hours on Saturday.”

Although the school was stressful, Ray felt that there were many benefits to going, including the delicious food and being able to travel around China and Korea during her breaks and weekends.

“[In China] my favorite thing was the food,” Ray said. “The cafeteria had a wide selection of different types of meats, vegetables, fruits and more. I learned how bad the lunch was in America compared to other countries.”

No matter where you go, or who you talk to, no one is truly so different that you can’t find any connection.”

— Graduate Erin Ray

Ray spent her sophomore year as an exchange student in Ireland, where she traveled around Europe. She enjoyed the weather in Ireland because it was cloudy and occasionally snowy, which was something she had not experienced growing up in the Texas heat.

Ray has plans to travel again when she goes to college and is taking a gap year. She is worried, however, that she will once again have to get over her fear of not being able to communicate with people on her travels.

“I was scared of being alone,” Ray said, “but no matter where you go, or who you talk to, no one is truly so different that you can’t find any connection.”

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Graduation, gap year are tickets to world travel