Author: Lisa Ellen Niver, CAS’89

On November 4, 2011, Penn Club Los Angeles will once again be acknowledged with the Club Award of Merit during Homecoming Weekend featuring Arts and Culture.  This  great honor is due in large part to the herculean efforts of our Club President, Melissa Wu. Melissa leads a wonderful group of alumni and she creates incredible events that build the Penn community in Los Angeles!

Recently in Los Angeles, the Penn Club hosted author and alumna, Rachel Friedman, who read from her travel book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost.  In it, Friedman says, “…sometimes travel and being adventurous do not fit with the model I hold of myself, …but it does not coexist with how I picture myself—a sheltered, scared, predictable kind of girl, definitely not a girl who has adventures. I come from rooted people; people who prefer chlorinated bodies of water and career paths.”

Travel allows us distance from our normal life and a separation that allows us to notice what is truly important. Without such a perspective, to know what to keep and to continue in life’s path may prove more difficult. Travels allows us all to step out of “normal” life, to see other cultures, meet people, learn languages—expecting to learn about others while really it is we who become transformed.

During the question and answer session after a book reading earlier this month, Friedman talked about travel as an important and essential part of education.  In her book she also asks: “What’s the right way to go about … our lives? Should you do what you love, what’s outrageous and unpredictable, and worry about the future later, or plug away at a steady job first and go off and have your fun when you retire?”

I commend Melissa Wu and the entire Penn Club LA alumni board for bringing together the community and for allowing me as co-author of the blog, “We Said Go Travel,” to participate in this special occasion. Congrats again to PENN CLUB LA!


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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Homecoming Weekend featuring arts and culture, Lisa Ellen Niver, Penn Clubs, The Arts

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