I’m so proud and excited to share the beautiful, sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes funny, and always insightful work of my students from this year’s National Geographic Student Expeditions trip to Italy and Greece. Check it out here.
Each summer for the past few years, I’ve had the privilege of leading a group of teenagers – mostly Americans, although this year we had a handful of Canadians, one girl from Pakistan and another from China – on an educational and exploratory trip through the Mediterranean. Each year, I learn something from these bright, inquisitive young people. This year was no exception. When traveling through places I know well, it’s too easy to close my inner eye to the magic around them. Traveling with students helps me remember what an astounding privilege it is to do what I do, and it keeps my eyes wide open as we go. That’s something most adults could stand to remember.
Writing in community is a rare and beautiful thing, and doing it with a group of teens who chose to spend part of their summer focused on the craft and magic of the written word is alchemy. We spent 17 days together traveling through one of my favorite parts of the world, seeing the sights, experiencing new cultures, and processing our time on the page. Some of us focused on poetry, while others took a more journalistic approach. Some squinted through the lens of historical fiction, while still more used mythology as a means of looking at our ties to technology. As always, the quality of their writing amazed and delighted me.
I’m equally delighted to share that work with you here. These stories, poems, travelogues, and articles are the work of nine bright, incredibly promising young writers I was so lucky to get to know this summer. Please enjoy, share, and look out for their work in the future. It’s going to be quite a force.