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Column: With a love for travel, I knew Oxford was my next adventure

Morgan Westemeier and Sharon Lalone ride the Eurostar several years ago. They are pictured on a train. Submitted photo.
Morgan Westemeier and Sharon Lalone ride the Eurostar several years ago. Submitted photo.

Morgan Westemeier
Oxford Stories
mnwestem@go.olemiss.edu

Since before I could walk, my curiosity and fearlessness have pushed me to experience as many things in life as possible. From traveling across the world, to moving 12 hours from home, I have always been searching for new adventures.

I was born and raised in Austin, Texas. I grew up as an only child, which I think impacted my adventurous tendencies. Growing up without siblings almost forced me to venture out and create new feats.

From a young age, I loved to travel and played many sports. I played soccer, swimming, basketball, horseback riding, cheer and volleyball. If a new activity was presented to me, I was enthralled.

Even though I was involved in many athletics and activities, dance stuck with me throughout adolescence. I danced from the age of 2 to 17. I loved the way I could express myself through dance and all the amazing experiences it offered me.

I believe my love for traveling started when I was only a baby. Although I was too young to remember my first travel experience to Canada to visit family, my mom says I was almost concerningly content for a baby on an airplane. I always adored going to new places, whether by plane, car, or even boat.

I traveled all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean in my childhood. As I got older, my fondness for travel grew.

Morgan and Brigitte Westemeier in Rome. Submitted photo.
Morgan and Brigitte Westemeier in Rome. Submitted photo.

Knowing how much I craved adventure in new places, my grandma surprised me with a trip to Europe the summer before my first year in middle school. I remember the moment I found out like it was yesterday. Excitement filled my body, even pushing me to tears.

Our first stop on the Europe trip was Rome. My dad even traveled there with us because he had never been. I got to see the Colosseum and was even blessed by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican City.

My mom, grandma, and I then traveled to Paris. Seeing the Eiffel Tower light up at night was a surreal experience I will never forget. I tried many new foods and did a lot of shopping. 

We then took the Eurostar to London. It is a train that travels from city to city under the English Channel and might be one of the most amazing things ever.  

I loved the accents. Experiencing a place so similar, yet so different from my own played a pivotal part in my curiosity about those different from me.   

The trip to Europe made me realize I was meant to travel. I loved seeing new places, trying different foods, and experiencing various cultures.

Morgan Westemeier behind the wheel and on an adventure. Submitted photo. A cow is peering through the car window.
Morgan Westemeier behind the wheel and on an adventure. Submitted photo.

I traveled as much as I could throughout high school, but dance took up much of my time. After participating in-studio dance, competition teams, my middle school dance team, and my high school drill team, I decided to quit dancing my senior year of high school. Dance was a chapter in my life that needed to come to an end. I wanted to focus on my future. 

After applying to many colleges and universities, I was torn. I was close to attending Texas Tech University, but I decided that was too close to home. I finally decided to attend the University of Mississippi.

My family thought I was crazy. I decided on Ole Miss without even visiting and only a couple of months before moving in. They were worried about me moving 12 hours away from home without knowing anyone, but I knew that Ole Miss was my next adventure. 

I am now a sophomore at Ole Miss majoring in political science and minoring in journalism. I truly believe attending the University of Mississippi was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Although Texas will always be home, choosing to move so far away has allowed me to create my own personal narrative and do things I never thought possible.

I have many aspirations. I plan on continuing my undergraduate education at the University of Mississippi and then attending law school.

I intend to go to a different school to pursue my law degree. I love the University of Mississippi, but I know law school will be another chapter of my life that will allow me to live in a new place and experience even more of what life has to offer. 

As for my career goals, I know I want to travel. I love politics and writing. My dream is to become a political journalist. I want to travel from country to country documenting my experiences and learning new information hopefully surrounding the world of politics.

I plan on continuing to live my life with open eyes, new experiences, and drive myself to greatness no matter where I am taken. 

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