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What Is Your Semester At Sea Legacy?

Lifelong learner Pat O'Brien tells the story of her son's inspirational voyage as she kicks off her retirement and sails with the Summer 2012 voyage. photo by Russ Bryant

 Sometimes in life we think we are teaching our children, but really they are teaching us.
Pat O'Brien

Pat O’Brien learned of Semester at Sea when her son Mark was a young student. She insisted that he look into the program, and Mark, channeling his mothers desire to travel, saved up and applied for the Spring 2003 voyage.

After his embarkation Pat waited in anticipation for emails home describing the adventures in each port of call.

Once his voyage of discovery was complete, Mark presented his parents with the coffee table book Changing Perspectives. Inside was a hand written message of thanks and appreciation to his parents for the support they had always given him. He also challenged them to do their own Semester at Sea voyage as Lifelong Learners.

Now almost ten years later, the day after her retirement from being a middle school counselor, Pat O’Brien joins the Summer 2012 voyage. So far she has spent the days attending classes and imagining what it was like for her son to be a student on board this floating campus. Pat couldn't be more excited to connect with her son's memories while creating her own stories on Semester at Sea.

“You plant all these seeds in your children’s lives, and then eventually they begin to plant them back into yours. I wouldn’t have ever done this if he hadn’t sailed and suggested it.”

Pat is not the only passenger on this ship who is here because of their children, or other family member. There are many who were inspired by their children, parents, and even grandparents.

If you’ve been inspired to travel with Semester at Sea because someone in your family gave you the travel bug, tell us your story.

  • Life at Sea

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