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SAS Alum Writes Memoir About Voyage titled “Seas the Day”

For many, a voyage with Semester at Sea represents a defining chapter in their life’s story. The experiences, friendships, and transformative moments are unparalleled, creating memories that last a lifetime. For Johnny Vrba, this journey was so profound that it became the heart of his newly released memoir, Seas the Day.

Johnny’s adventure with Semester at Sea began like many others – with a sense of excitement and a hint of fear. Stepping aboard the MV World Odyssey, Johnny left behind the familiar comforts of home, ready to embrace the unknown. Little did he know, this voyage would not only take him across the world’s oceans but also deep into his own heart and soul.

In Seas the Day, Johnny candidly shares the highs and lows of his Semester at Sea voyage. From navigating through turbulent waters both literally and figuratively, to adapting to the unique learning environment aboard the ship, Johnny’s memoir paints a vivid picture of life on the high seas. He recounts the initial culture shock in new ports, the struggles of balancing coursework with exploration, and the inevitable homesickness that accompanies long voyages.

Yet, Johnny’s narrative is also one of resilience and growth. His encounters with diverse cultures and people taught him invaluable lessons about empathy, adaptability, and the interconnectedness of our global community. These experiences, he writes, were pivotal in shaping his worldview and personal philosophy.

We sat down with Johnny to hear more about his journey with Semester at Sea and what inspired him to write his memoir. 

I tried to pick a single country to study abroad in, but I couldn’t, so I picked all of them! In all seriousness, I was very attracted to college aboard a ship, particularly, being disconnected from the internet. Also, I was constantly on the move at Arizona State, and I wanted a study abroad program that mirrored my pace of life. 

After it was announced our voyage would end in two days in Cape Town, South Africa, my friends (we called ourselves the squad) had a group huddle on the top deck. There, we talked about how although this news couldn’t be sadder, we were truly the luckiest people alive. We made a vow in that moment to spend the next 48 hours loving the hell out of each other…and we did! It’s not about how you start, but how you finish.

I learned something completely new about being a global citizen in each of the 4 ports we visited. I carried with me onboard an ethnocentric mindset and I left it behind somewhere in Vietnam. Put simply, I believed how Americans lived was the best way to live, turns out we don’t have it all figured out. 

My book, Seas the Day, tells the story of Semester at Sea’s 128th voyage in the Spring of 2020 through my eyes. Living in constant uncertainty and ambiguity week after week, eventually I met The One who never changes. I had an unexpected encounter with Jesus near the end of the voyage that changed my life forever. 

Seas the Day is available everywhere you buy or listen to books! Amazon will deliver the quickest. I am Johnny Vrba on social media, I’m the only one so it shouldn’t be too hard to find. 

These 3 things:

  1. I want readers to know that each and every one of their lives has a purpose.
  2. Live every day as if it’s your last…and one day, you’ll be right.
  3. Quote from Saint Therese of Lisieux: “The world’s thy ship, not thy home.”

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support! I hope this book changes your life as you read how my life was changed!

“You don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so bring it to tomorrow!” – Johnny Vrba, SAS alum author of Seas the Day

  • Alumni

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