Colonnade DC Trip

Hannah Adams

This past month, I had the opportunity to go on a work trip with my Colonnade co-workers to attend a journalism conference in Washington D.C. While on this trip, I was able to create some amazing connections with my coworkers and friends, as well as learn more about myself as an individual. Having the opportunity to get away from the usual monotony of Milledgeville I exited Washington DC feeling more in touch with myself and the potential pursuits that I may want to take on after college. Being able to listen to such remarkable speakers such as the famous, Woodward and Bernstein, caused me to feel connected with my dream to have a future career in journalism. 

Listening to Woodward and Bernstein speak truly was a dream come true for any journalist. The stories and advice that they provided had every single person in the room on the edge of their seat, begging for more. It inspired me to have a desire to dig deeper as a young journalist and to never be afraid to do difficult reporting. Kelly Feng’s article, “Woodward and Bernstein offer lessons of the past” with The Clarion, Feng provided a summary of the two men’s offered advice to the audience within their segment. 

“The two said one of the first things they did when starting the story was to start making calls and knocking on doors immediately,” Feng said. “The ability to show up is a skill they’ve continued to do throughout their career. They mentioned it is too easy to email or text a source when interviewing in person offers more insight and information. The two say they believe there are too many cases today of journalists just mailing it in. ‘We need to show up …We are not showing up enough,’ Woodward said. They enlightened the audience on the importance of gathering information from low-level sources. Woodward said he learned from Bernstein the type of people made for the best sources.”

Along with the opportunity to see two of my career heroes in person, I was also able to explore Washington DC and experience the history that litters the city. Being so immersed in some of this country’s most remarkable historical reminders had a way of making me reflect. It influenced me to be thankful for the life I live and the freedoms I have. To also be thankful for the amazing friends and family that I have around me. The website published an article titled, “The History of Washington DC,” which covers some of the symbolism behind this country’s capital. 

“It remains a vibrant and culturally diverse city today. The city is rich with international cultures, African American heritage and culture and it’s also one of America’s most gay-friendly cities. In fact, DC recognized same-sex marriage in 2010, before the Supreme Court, nearby, ruled that it was a right in 2015. After more than 200 years as the nation’s capital, Washington has developed as a complex and layered city, with a distinctive character: both a town for locals, an international center of power and an amazing place to visit.”

The final takeaway from Washington DC for me was the connection I made with myself and the people I was with. During this trip I was able to do an extensive amount of self-reflection that caused me to realize much about myself. While on this trip with such amazing and accepting people, I was able to just be myself and feel free to be expressive. It was a liberating feeling that was a much-needed change for me. Sometimes, being in such a small town as Milledgeville causes you to feel like you must be part of the status quo to fit in and not be singled out by others. Leaving this trip, I felt lighter and happier than I had been before it began. In the Travelex article titled, “Why travel is good for your health,” it explains why traveling is so beneficial for the human mind. 

“The most obvious and potentially most important health benefit of traveling is stress reduction. Traveling has the ability to take you out of our daily routine and into new surroundings and experiences and this can reset your body and mind. Even planning a trip can have a fantastic effect on the body – it boosts happiness and feels rewarding. Not only does travel reduce stress but it expands the mind. Meeting new people and adapting to new situations makes one more globally and culturally aware. This keeps the mind sharp, increases creativity and helps with personal growth.” 

Sometimes, it takes getting out of one’s normal day to day atmosphere to truly do some inner exploration. To get out of the line of sight from the ones you see every day and just be who you want to be for even just a few days. Along with this, feeding your inner self by doing the things you love or that interests you can be extremely aiding in self-discovery. It is during these times that you really discover who your real friends are.