Hello hello! I’m Claire Duerson, a junior (ahh already?!) strategic communication major and political science minor from Dothan, Alabama. I am so excited to go on this journey to Norway, Sweden and Denmark with my classmates, but before we depart from the sweltering heat in Fort Worth, we should probably get to know each other a little better.

Whether you’re reading this because you love me a lot (Hi, Mom and Dad!), or we haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, here are 10 random facts that I think you should know about me.

  1. I LOVE food. Seriously, I’m game for anything and everything when it comes to cuisine, and one aspect of this trip that I’m looking forward to the most is the flavorful meats, seafood and desserts that I’ve read about. My favorite foods? Red beans and rice with a side of roasted brussel sprouts.
  2. On most summer days, you can find me hanging out with the youth group at church, working out (read: struggling) at the gym, or taking the quick two-hour trip from Dothan to the beautiful beaches of Panama City, Florida.
  3. I can’t start my day without first having a cup of coffee. Blog Pic 4
  4. My hobbies include laughing too loudly, singing and dancing at random times, wearing lots of black, keeping up with current events and reading cheesy romance novels.
  5. I put the pro in procrastination.
  6. For me, music is best enjoyed at maximum volume. I am currently in love with the Hamilton soundtrack, but my all-time favorite song is “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra.
  7. I’m not quite sure what I want to do with my life yet, but my dream job is being a nurse-lawyer-PR specialist who occasionally writes Buzzfeed listicles. Too much?
  8. My favorite quote comes from John Wesley. “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”
  9. I like to spend my free time at art museums.
  10. I have a serious case of wanderlust. I want to see and experience all that the world has to offer.

Wanderlust – (n.) a strong desire or urge to wander or travel and explore the world

Blog Pic 2

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to travel. Fortunately, my family has made traveling a priority, and I have managed to see a little bit of the world already.

Traveling with family, however, is a very different experience than traveling with classmates. This summer, I was lucky enough to have been drawn for CSI, and I am looking forward to encountering new cultures and traditions with some familiar faces as 15 of my classmates and I travel across the globe for an educational adventure.

Traveling can be the most intense mode of learning. This trip is no exception, so I have made a few goals for this expedition.Blog Pic 3

First, I am eager to find out what makes the Scandinavians some of the happiest people on Earth. I expect the beautiful hiking and scenery that I’ve seen on Pinterest might have something to do with it…

Secondly, I want to discover local treasures that aren’t necessarily tourist attractions. I plan to talk to locals in each city about where they think the best places to see, eat and shop are. I prefer to experience new cities as a local, not a tourist.

Finally, I plan on keeping my mind open when it comes to learning about Scandinavian healthcare systems, governmental structures and foreign policy and learn as much as I possibly can about how the other half lives.

Now all I have to do is pack and wait for July 16 to arrive. Follow along for updates on the experiences of the 2016 CSI crew!


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