This summer, I participated in Duke in the Arab World in Morocco. The highlight of my trip was definitely our group trip to the Sahara. After almost 48 hours of travel from Fez, our group finally arrived in Merzouga, a town on the edge of the desert. We were given no instructions on how to ride a camel or any other safety measures, and, as I hesitantly clambered onto a seated camel, I must admit I was a little nervous. My nerves escalated as my camel scrambled to its feet, almost unseating me.
But, once we were upright and our camel train moved out into the dunes, my worries subsided. I took in the natural beauty around me, laughed with my friends, and bonded with my camel (who I named Sylvester). I was reminded of the refreshing feeling of trying something completely new, and how rewarding it can be.
As I return to Duke, the memories of my desert journey will serve as motivation for me to try new classes, meet new people, and join new organizations. To anyone considering studying abroad, go for it. Especially if it makes you a little nervous.
Bailey Carkenord '20
International Comparative Studies, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies