Sophomore Julia Beaumont explores the world


Two summers ago, in the heart of the European metropolis of Paris stood sophomore Julia Beaumont. Yet she wasn’t in front of the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, or any other commonplace Parisian tourist attraction.

Rather, adjacent to Julia was a quaint street, resembling a quiet alleyway, secluded from the bustle of the big city. This street, composed of an outdoor supermarket, flower stands, and small coffee shops and cafes, is what captured Julia’s heart.

“It was a very cool experience, probably my favorite part of Paris,” Julia said. “I really like to enjoy the more local stuff. One of my favorite parts of traveling in general is the little coffee shops and stuff like that. It’s like, ‘Wow, this is what it’s really like for these people.’ That’s an amazing thing.”

The opportunity to experience Paris and travel to Europe was bestowed upon Julia and her family a few years ago through receiving “bump money” from an airline. With this luxury, Julia’s parents were able to plan a trip full of amazing places, interesting attractions, and thrilling activities all around Europe.

This unique chance launched Julia’s devotion towards traveling and uncovering new places. Most significantly, her trip to Europe discerned the difference between a “trip” and a “vacation,” a divide that has proved very important to her since.

“A vacation is more relaxed, and it’s just more laidback,” Julia said. “With a trip, you’re more experiencing culture and new places. I really love seeing cultures in different places and being immersed in them. It’s just an amazing thing.”

In the last few years, Julia and the rest of her family have traversed all around the world. From a whirlwind week in Paris, to four days in Portugal, to a sojourn in the Tuscany mountains in Italy, Julia’s love for Europe has only grown.

Each experience fuels her passion and provides newfound knowledge towards her ever-growing understanding of the world.

“I love to learn,” Julia said. “Just being [abroad] is kind of like a new experience that I don’t know how to describe. It’s just a new experience that I’ll always be able to have. I’ll always be able to look back at it.”

Another experience for Julia to look back upon became available to her over the past summer. An exciting opportunity to travel with her close friend, sophomore Abby Wright, was revealed when Abby’s family invited Julia on their trip to the UK.

“As soon as I read that, I was like ‘I’m going,’ ” Julia said. “It was a lot to work out, with money and everything like that, but when I saw that, I was like ‘I have to go.’ I didn’t think it would work out, but it did. And I’m so grateful for it.”

Traveling around a magnificent European country with a close friend was a dream come true for Julia, and their adventure around England and Scotland was unforgettable. Predominantly, Julia spent days exploring London with the Wrights, feeding a love she developed for the city a few years prior.

“I went to London once before, and I got the feeling afterward that I knew I would be going back there someday,” Julia said. “That happened pretty much only in Paris and London. So when I got the opportunity, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I didn’t think it would come this soon.’ ”

As lucky as she is to have discovered her passion for travel so early in life, Julia now faces the difficult task of sustaining it. With hopes to become a teacher in the future, she aspires to complete an in-depth study abroad program while in college.

All her traveling in the last few years has rendered her with a pure desire to see the world and everything in it. With an open mind and eyes constantly on the lookout for opportunities, Julia will continue to strive to discover and explore.

“It has made me realize that I want to go everywhere,” Julia said. “All of the traveling has just increased my want to go places and experience things, not just the typical places. I would like to go everywhere. It’s just made my list grow and grow.”