Making it to Machu Picchu: Amber Kubik
As an international studies major, it only makes sense that Amber Kubik is all about exploring the world.
She has already backpacked Europe and Mexico, but Machu Picchu was calling her name when it came to choosing a study-abroad destination. She begins her study abroad adventure in Peru this spring.
“I heard rumors of Machu Picchu [eventually] being closed to tourism … It’s one of the places on my list to see before I die, so I jumped at the opportunity when I saw it,” explains the 25-year-old Texas State University student.
When friends wonder how Amber can afford to fund her adventures abroad, she tells them it’s just a matter of priorities.
“Instead of buying big screen TV’s and getting salon services, I buy plane tickets to a new land,” she explains. “That’s much more rewarding than the luxuries most Americans spend their money on.”
Amber’s second-place entry in the spring 2011 University Language Services scholarship photo contest is from a previous trip to California’s Natural Bridges State Park – her first to the West Coast.
“I looked at this tide pool and thought … how the many creatures living here are like the various cultures in the world,” she explained in her contest entry. “I believe by studying other cultures and showing compassion for cultural diversity, our world can achieve the same interrelationships and balance that this tide pool has.”
By studying other cultures, Amber hopes to increase her own cultural awareness within our real-world tide pool. Aside from studying Spanish and learning about Peru’s culture, Amber is also hoping to contribute through volunteer week during her stay in the country.
“My dream is to leave Peru having made a difference in at least one person’s life,” she explains. “I know what a lasting impression this trip will have on me, and I hope to do the same for someone I meet there.”