Doctor Who, Journaling, and da Vinci: An Interview with Megan Levis

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I can't believe that it is already Feature Friday again! My interns have been rockin' and rollin' and i could not be more proud. This week, I am happy to introduce to you a member of Inside Study Abroad's Outreach Team, Megan Levis. While Megan earned a degree in biology, it might as well have been a degree in study abroad. During the last two years of her undergraduate career, she researched ecology in the Amazon Rainforest and the Galapagos Islands, spent a semester studying art, history, language (and wine) in Italy and Greece, and then worked on a project to repair the Three Gorges Reservoir Region in China. She has been busy to say the least!

If you're going on a 2 week international trip, what are 3 things you'll take with you? And, why?

I’m going to assume that the 3 items are in addition to my passport and money.  So besides those two necessities, I always bring:

  • An empty notebook: Let me be clear, I am not a journaling person.  I’ve tried keeping a diary since first grade, yet every time it’s the same process. I am very committed to making entries for about two or three weeks and then I slowly falter.  It’s just inevitable.  I’ve accepted it.  However, when I am traveling or living abroad, I always bring a blank notebook or journal and carry it everywhere.  Throughout the day, I’ll make notes about the places I go, the things I see, the fascinating people I encounter and the random words I pick up.  And it’s also a handy place to stick mementos like tickets, receipts and postcards.
  • A camera: A pretty obvious decision. Pure memories are wonderful, but they are notoriously malleable.  And no matter how hard you try, your brain just can’t remember every detail of your adventures. So snap a few photos and you’ll have a lovely keepsake (and something to jog your memory!).
  • Moist towelettes: No one says traveling is easy, and it certainly does not always provide you with the finest amenities.  From crowded buses to trains with broken air conditioning to just being outside all day, you’re gonna get a little messy.  Solution: carry a pack of moist towelettes in your bag and you will be so happy. Never underestimate the relief and refreshment that comes when you wipe away the sweat of an awesome day!

Who would be your travel companion and why? (Real life or not)

The Doctor (hello Doctor Who fans!). Well, if you’ve ever seen Doctor Who, you know the Doctor is spectacular, highly intelligent, and sassy.  Traits that I appreciate in all of my friends.  But he is first and foremost a traveler! And like me, he is always ready for a new adventure.  It doesn’t hurt that he can travel through time and space too.

If you could time-travel, what time period would you visit, what would you do or see, and why?

There are SO many options; I can barely limit myself to one. If forced to choose, I think I would pick Italy during the Renaissance. Specifically I would meet one of my favorite historical figures, Leonardo da Vinci in 1503 when he began painting the Mona Lisa.  I just want to know her secret! And, you know, to chat with one of the most prolific inventors and artists of modern times.

Which one would you choose: interview with your dream job, or free trip to dream country/city?

This is a tough choice, but the vagabond in me will always choose travel.  Jobs come and go but the experiences you’ll have exploring a new part of the world may not always be available.  This changes every week, but currently I would choose a trip to New Zealand.  I’ve never been there (except in my dreams) but ever since I saw the first Lord of the Rings film as a fifth grader, I’ve been obsessed.  Although I wouldn’t say no to return trips to Nepal or Turkey either!

#fun: Describe studying abroad or the desire to have a career in international education using a haiku.

It was just a trip.

Now I want it to be life.

I am no poet.

If you would like to get to know Megan even better, connect with her online! You can find her on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn. Have a question for Megan? Shoot her a comment below.

Be sure to check back next Friday for another feature on one of my rockstar interns!