Pre-Departure: Nos Vemos America.
Greetings everyone! My name’s Zak Suhar, and attend the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio studying Management, Spanish, and Environmental Science. I feel extremely honored to be named one of the Grand Trunk Student Ambassadors for this upcoming spring semester, and look forward to sharing my experiences with you. I first would like to congratulate the other contestants, and compliment all of the great video submissions. Very soon my plane departs from Chicago O’Hare for Alicante, Spain where I plan to study at the University of Alicante in the Valencian Community.
Alicante is a Mediterranean port city in the southeastern part of Spain, which has a sunny climate, beautiful beaches, tall mountains, and rich culture and nightlife. I plan on swimming, sailing, and enjoying the four-mile-long beach of San Juan, considered one of the finest in all of Spain. Abroad, I will be taking nine intensive Spanish language courses, a Madrid field study, and culture immersion courses like Dances of Spain, Spanish Cuisine, and Sailing. All of these classes I hope to share with you in detail along with the excursions I plan to take, but first I would like to tell you a little more about where I am from.
I grew up my whole life in Cedarburg, Wisonsin, a small, historic town nestled along Cedar Creek, located north of Milwaukee. Before our family settled there, we lived in Indiana, where I was born, and Ohio where most of my extended family resides. I grew up playing sports and living in a competitive family having two older brothers, and football is what brought me to Mount Union in the first place. Other than sports, I have a deep interest in sustainability, social good, innovation, and I hope to one-day work for a green business showcasing my thirst for and environmental justice. I like to be athletic in the outdoors and enjoy rock climbing, hiking, slacklining, and kayaking.
I also have developed a great deal of interest in the Spanish language and culture having taken classes since middle school. The places, festivals, and overall way of life I cannot wait to experience as I am immersed in the Spanish community. Coupling this Spanish interest with athletics, I hope to attend several futbol matches, basketball games, and view some of the lines world-renowned climber Chris Sharma has scaled.
Like Grand Trunk, I share an incredible passion for the outdoors and am adamant about protecting our wild and natural places here on this earth. This reason along with many other similarities between my lifestyle and values is why I feel I can add value to the brand as a Grand Trunk Student Ambassador. One thing I am really excited about is being a carbon balanced traveler as well! At Mount Union, I serve on a sustainability committee and my supervisors bought me carbon offsets as a gift for leaving.
Ultimately I love encountering new experiences and I define these experiences as travels that stay with you for the rest of your life. I believe travel can add value to our lives like nothing else. Travel teaches compassion, humility, and a desire realize the interconnectedness of our experiences here on this planet. For me, what I enjoy most is sharing these connections through the images produced from my journeys and documenting their stories on my blog.
- Zak Suhar