Taylor Steedman: Former OGA Fellow

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Taylor Steedman in front of the London Bridge Name: Taylor Steedman

Email: steedt@uw.edu

Intended Graduation Quarter: Spring 2020

I was motivated to apply for a position at the Office of Global Affairs because of my experience studying abroad in Brazil, and passion for making travel something that is accessible for everyone. I am currently majoring in Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, with a minor in Education and Global Engagement, so this position felt like the perfect fit. 

I grew up right outside of Tacoma, but I’ve been lucky enough to see quite a bit of the world. My favorite place on Earth would have to be the tiny town of Lucca in Italy. This is where my mother’s family is from, so it was really special to walk along the same streets that my ancestors did. One of my other favorite places would have to be London, England – the view from the Eye is breathtaking! While I was in Brazil, I researched environmental movements occurring in the country and worked on a collaborative journal with other Brazilian University students. The highlights of the trip were probably visiting the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and walking through the Atlantic Forest. I also enjoyed practicing Portuguese with my host family and other locals. It was challenging to try and communicate in a language that was totally new to me, but my years studying Spanish did help a bit. 

A few of the places I’d love to visit next are Iceland, Morocco, Kenya and Greece. My goal is to teach English in Spain after graduation, so hopefully I’ll be able to travel throughout Europe and Africa while there. When I travel, I try not to have too strict of an agenda. I like to be flexible and see where the day takes me – I’ve found that this is the best way to really enjoy your time abroad. Another one of my favorite things to do while traveling is to eat, obviously. While in Italy, I took a cooking class and we made gnocchi, which is a type of pasta made with potato, flour and egg. That was one of the tastiest international meals I’ve had, but I also love brigadeiro, which is a traditional Brazilian desert. 

When I’m not working or in class, I try to go on runs in nature. I was on the cross-country team in high school, and running has become an important part of my life since then. I find that exercise helps me relax and get my creative juices flowing. When I visit a different country, I’ll often go on a long run or walk to familiarize myself with the area, even if it means I forget how to get back to where I came from. I think that sometimes you have to get a little lost, in order to find yourself.