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A young arriero leads a mule across fresh snow in the Peruvian Andes. Photo by Benjamin Swift (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest Finalist), South America Semester.

Hi I’m Joey

Hi my name is Joey. I’m very excited to meet everyone and explore the mountains and culture of the Andes. I have not been truly hiking since I went to summer camp, around 3 years ago, so I am extremely happy to be able to have this opportunity to disconnect and be in the wilderness. My love for being outdoors began when I was at summer camp when I went on 3-8 day trips to various places in Wisconsin, Michigan and around Lake Superior. Originally I didn’t see the appeal as it all seemed like a lot of hard work for little gain. But as I got older I realized that hiking 10 miles a day was worth seeing beautiful landscapes and being disconnected from the rest of the world. So this trip seemed like a great opportunity to disconnect and be back in nature. I also am very excited to go climbing as I also have not gone climbing in a few years. Although I am a little apprehensive about my Spanish, as I only did three years of middle school spanish, I’m enthusiastic about immersing myself in it.

I have not been hiking in the mountains a lot, but I have climbed a few and my favorite part is how seperate I feel from the rest of the world when I’m at the top. For me, the summit always feels so isolated and its very calming. There is also a huge sense of reward when you push yourself to go to the peak and you can look down and visibly see your accomplishment.

I’m very excited to go on this adventure and to meet all of you!