Aspiring writer Sydney Smith

PHOTO+BY+MAGGIE+MCGONAGLE

PHOTO BY MAGGIE MCGONAGLE

BY KAELI FRAHN (’15)

Many people aspire to travel the world for numerous reasons. Where they go, and what they take from that journey is up to them. For one particular student, traveling around Europe would have an enormous impact on her, and potentially her future career as a writer.

Senior Sydney Smith spent 3 weeks of her summer vacation with her family aboard a Mediterranean cruise ship where she represented just one of the 72 different countries on deck. She went surfing in Portugal, visited an aquarium and attended a guitar concert that was “funny, yet beautiful” in a gorgeous theatre in Barcelona, Spain and stopped in France and Italy where she toured museums and other historical landmarks.

“I remember being in the Roman Coliseum as a storm started rolling in,” Smith said. “the thunder just echoed throughout. It was crazy.”

Other than the amazing lace up shoes she found in a local shop in Italy, witnessing an older woman get robbed or witnessing the death of 3 teenagers while taking a selfie on top of a cliff in the most northern part of Europe, she did take one thing home that she would always have with her, inspiration.

“Being exposed to so many different cultures really inspired me,” said Smith, “I met so many different people and got to see so many beautiful places.”

One of her favorite memories was being back on the ship at midnight while Portugal and the United States were playing in the World Cup.

“You would never believe how many Europeans go crazy over the World Cup,” she said. “It was amazing seeing how different people supported their country. People just don’t care about it as much here back in the United States.”

While many people wish to travel the world to visit historical landmarks, take beautiful pictures, or just to say they’ve been here or there, Sydney decided to make more use of her trip around Europe. Aspiring to be a fiction and fantasy novelist one day, she took her experiences in Europe, from meeting new people to witnessing the deaths of others and allowed them to impact and better her writing.

Later that summer she stayed at a writing camp at Smith College in Massachusetts where she won the best creative short story award. She later went on to win the Denison Book Award.