Freshman Dylan Mitic Explores the World for Seven Months

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Freshman Dylan Mitic Explores the World for Seven Months

Mitic (second from left) and his family in Petra, Jordan after walking over the border from Israel. “We had a crazy guide [and] every two feet, he’d stop us and say ‘picture time!’” Mitic said. Photo courtesy of Dylan Mitic.

Mitic (second from left) and his family in Petra, Jordan after walking over the border from Israel. “We had a crazy guide [and] every two feet, he’d stop us and say ‘picture time!’” Mitic said. Photo courtesy of Dylan Mitic.

Mitic (second from left) and his family in Petra, Jordan after walking over the border from Israel. “We had a crazy guide [and] every two feet, he’d stop us and say ‘picture time!’” Mitic said. Photo courtesy of Dylan Mitic.

Mitic (second from left) and his family in Petra, Jordan after walking over the border from Israel. “We had a crazy guide [and] every two feet, he’d stop us and say ‘picture time!’” Mitic said. Photo courtesy of Dylan Mitic.

Parina Patel, Staff Writer

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Freshman Dylan Mitic spent seven months travelling the world during the second half of his eighth-grade year and the following summer break. He, along with his parents and younger brother, travelled to four continents in total: Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia. He left for his first destination, Prague, on Jan. 21, 2018, and came home from the final destination, Switzerland, on Aug. 16, 2018.

Mitic’s parents told him about the trip in Aug. of 2017. At first, he had mostly negative feelings towards the idea and didn’t want to go.

His parents planned out the places that their family was going to visit for the seven months, but the Mitics did not know what they would do in these places.

Choosing when to go on a trip such as Mitic’s is hard because the timing is important. Fortunately for Mitic and his brother, they went at a time where they’d both be coming back when school was about to start up again. Additionally, Mitic was old enough to appreciate the trip. “If I did it when I was younger, it would be harder to remember most of it,” Mitic said.

Mitic (left) in a square in Porto, Portugal. It’s known as the torture square because criminals in the Portuguese resistance would get their heads cut off or hanged here. Photo courtesy of Dylan Mitic.

Mitic didn’t find there to be many negative consequences from taking his trip. He did online school while traveling to compensate for the school he missed. “All my friends were waiting for me when I got back, [but] I missed graduation,” Mitic said.

Mitic found being away fun, but challenging, because of the cultural differences. “It got easier as time went on. In the beginning it was definitely challenging,” Mitic said. Although, after he had spent a month in India, a couple weeks in China, and some time in Nepal, Mitic’s perspective changed. “By the time I left, it almost felt like home,” Mitic said.

Mitic enjoyed spending time in Norway the most because of its fish dishes and mountains. He recalled one of his favorite memories in Svalbard, the farthest island north of the Arctic Circle. He’d been on a boat for a week, and Mitic had never gotten sea sick until this trip because the water was really rough. “We found a polar bear, and everyone came out of hiding,” Mitic said. He was fascinated to see the polar bears come right up to the boat.

Mitic feels that the trip definitely had a positive effect on him. “I see the world a lot differently now [and] in a way that will benefit me in the future,” Mitic said.

Since Mitic is a big surfer, it was really heartbreaking for him to see the ocean pollution that was happening around the world. “We went to the Philippines, and we would basically go surfing in heaps of trash,” Mitic said. This resonated with Mitic, and now he picks up trash that he sees on the ground. On top of that, he does more by donating his time and money to organizations that will try to help with ocean pollution.