Going to the Smokies

This is going to be an adventure to remember! I feel like I have been waiting for so long for an opportunity like this. For the past few years, I have worked and gone to Laney College in Oakland, California with the dream of transferring to U.C. Berkeley to study architecture, and this year its finally happening. But before that, this summer I will embark on an epic road trip across the country to be an Intern in the Cultural Resources department of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In my current job as a Park Guide for the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail NHT, I tell the story of a colonist who migrated to Alta California in search of a new life. I often encourage park goers to imagine what it would be like to venture somewhere thousands of miles away to start a new life. Although I related the story to that of my family’s journey to the US, because of various similarities, I have never done anything even a little bit like that myself. Traveling to a place that is unknown to me and and covering vast distances for a new experience is completely new to me up till now I have only been able to Imagine it.20160530_132400 Making my way across the country on my way to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I’m confronted by the vastness that is the landscape of the United States. My route takes me through the southwest and the south, on my way to Tennessee; all places that I have never really been through except for those times I was a child crossing through El Paso our way to my grandparents home, in rural Jalisco, Mexico. This trip brings with it many firsts such as my first time east of California as an adult, my first time in the South, as well as first time living out of California, the place where I was born and raised. I’ve spent most my life between the Central valley (Yolo County) and the S.F. Bay area so it goes without saying that I’m over do for some exposure to things outside of my comfort zone. On the road, I can’t help but think about how this opportunity will open up so many new doors and I’m most excited to work and live in a park. Also getting a chance to work in my field of study, architectural historical preservation is a huge step towards my goal of becoming an architect. I hope that this summer can provide me with challenges and new tools to go forward and continue my studies when I get back and begin the last few years of my degree.     

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