Honors Summer Snapshots: Natalie

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2017 summer routines via photos. Honors senior biology student Natalie Vance has some travel advice for you if you’re headed to some national parks out west:

The best way to experience the world is go see it for yourself. Don’t put travel plans off for later in life, do it now! Grab a friend or two and hit the road. This summer my friend Noreen and I did just that. Disclaimer: I have been productive this summer writing what feels like thousands of essays for medical school applications and working full time as a research assistant at the USDA National Animal Disease Center in Ames. Although building your resume is important, it’s also equally important to relax a little bit and do what you love! In my case that means travel!

We decided to stop by the KU campus and remind them who the Big 12 champions were, you can never go wrong with a little Hilton Magic. #Kwho?


Arches was our first national park stop, we hiked 10 miles that day and told ourselves it would be the longest day we did…. Ha.


We stayed in a teepee, which was awesome, if you don’t mind the sound of lizards running around in the middle of the night.


Canyonlands was beautiful and not very crowded!


If you haven’t been to the Grand Canyon, go. If you have been, go again. It is simply incredible. We did exactly what everyone told us not to do, hiked rim to river to rim in one day. To our credit, we didn’t plan on doing that, but we reached our stopping point by 8:00 am and didn’t have a plan for the rest of the day. Plus a couple of guys sort of challenged us, and our type A personalities wouldn’t let us pass it up. So, 16.5 miles and 11 hours later we emerged from the canyon sweaty, dirty, and hungry. I can’t wait to do it again!


Zion: really cool, lots of varying terrain, but lots of people. We did some free climbing that caused some minor bloodshed, but it was worth it!


Bryce Canyon is one of my favorites because the rock formations are so different and the colors so vibrant.


Capitol Reef was our last national park stop – no entrance fee, and hardly any people! We went on another 10 mile hike to cap off the journey.


I took another week off of work to spend the Fourth of July at our family’s cabin in northern Minnesota. The weather was great, and my friends set up a projector in their tent for movie nights. Not exactly roughing it…


My friend Becca and I (we met through the Beatles honors seminar our freshman year) went to the Paul McCartney concert and had a blast. Our seats were terrible, but Paul was amazing!


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