Around The World And Back

It all started one day sitting in high school not sure what in the heck I was going to do when I graduated. A Marine Corp. Recruiter came in to our class and I gave him an ear to talk to. Little did I know he would sell me on a trip of a life time. So three months down the road I was graduated from high school, sitting in sunny California, getting yelled at in boot camp. To flash forward a year or so, I was done with all my training and getting ready for what I really signed up for. To see the world of course!!!

So we set out on our deployment, The 13 MEU, and this hog right here was how we were getting around. Its a fine ship, a little crowded but damn it can do some damage if need be. The USS BOXER.

The first stop after leaving San Diego….you guessed it, Hawaii!! After spending three weeks on a boat I was much do for some R&R. I’ll tell you four days here wasn’t nearly enough though.

The second stop of the trip was beautiful GUAM. With its amazing sunsets and sunrises… I never wanted to leave. I’ve made it a point in my life to venture back to this fabulous place.

I guess if you need something fixed you better call on us. Taking a little break during the flight schedule while the jets launch.

Next up Phuket, Thailand. If I could get on a plane and truly leave any where in the world right now, this would be the spot I would head. The people are amazingly friendly. The weather is wonderful and the food is some of the best I’ve ever had.

Next stop Dubai. Here in this pic is the worlds tallest building, the Burj Khalifa @ 2,717 feet high. Being a Montana kid born and raised, when I stood at the base of this marvel I couldn’t help but stare up at it for hours. Its pure bliss, you can see it from 30 miles away. Its incredible!!ski-dubai_2406593kSkiing in the middle of the desert? Dubai is known for many things and yes this is one of them. They have an indoor ski slope there. Being thousands of miles away from home…of course I had to give this a shot!

Some more flight deck fun somewhere out in the middle of the ocean.

The next stop was in Jordan. During leave we were allowed to visit the ancient ruins of Petra. Above is the Treasury, standing at a staggering 40 meters tall, the view was breathtaking. Above is the the Monastery, another building carved into the red rocks of Petra.Deployment was quite an experience. Getting to travel the world with great people was something I always wanted to do. I would do it all again if I could, no regrets. Well maybe without the working part. The leave time was amazing. When the ship ported in places like Hawaii and Thailand, I was ecstatic with joy. Thanks for taking time to read my blog. I hope you enjoyed it.

 

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18+ reasons why you should go on exchange!


18+ reasons why you should go on exchange!

18Look, exchange semester/year is just like a life, accelerated on a whole new speed! You never cry about yesterday, you never plan tomorrow and as for today – you just live it! To the fullest! Everything happens with the speed of light and sometimes people do not pay attention how they change while on exchange. They don’t appreciate all the “perks” of it. I as an                                       “experienced” exchange student, will try to give you 18+ reasons                                why you should  go on exchange.

 

So here we go:

  1. You get to explore new culture. Who cares – ‘Murica!images
  1. You live with a host family. But you always wanted to move away from your family, well now you have 2 families to move out from.family
  1. You get to learn and practice new language! Eurekaaa! – now “uno” has a whole new meaning!12166209_980282798695572_1462687737_n
  1. You get to experience different education standards, as well as different learning techniques – no more flashcards.metric
  1. You start being concerned about global issues. As if any of those were up to you to decide.sun
  2. You travel! Ok, that really is exciting…
  3. You get out of your comfort zone. Dude, it’s called COMFORT zone because it’s comfortable, why would you get out of it?comf
  4. You become more responsible. Now you feel even more concerned about global issues, but still none of them are up to you to decide.
  5. You get to try traditional food. Don’t go to Italy, it is not too different from food back home.pizza
  6. You make life-long friends! Exchange ends soon, but your friendship stands strong – in skype.skype
  7. You learn about awesome career opportunities and you start planning your life accordingly. But then you find out that 99% of the jobs are restricted to national citizens.permit
  8. Now your friends back home have new inside jokes. And no, they will not share them with you, instead they will laugh at you after you go back.
  9. You drink a lot of beer, but not too much. But unfortunately, you can never accurately measure how much is “too much”.beer
  10. Semester abroad will look great on your resume, but 99% of the jobs are still restricted to national citizens.
  11. You fall in love.love

 

  1. Everything is so much cheaper. So now you buy expensive stuff.
  1. You make memories that matter. You will tell about them to your friends, family, kids, dogs and cats back home. They will all hate you for talking about exchange all the time. ALL THE TIME.
  2. You get to go to your favorite band’s concert. But they never show up(that’s what happened to me).Show-Cancelled
  1. You get to have a new roommate. Of course you love each other.room
  1. On exchange you stop judging the book by its cover and realize that 18+ in the title above is just another way of saying “more than 18.”

P.S University of Montana is where I am doing my exchange. It has shortly become my favorite place. I enjoy every single day here and try to get as much out of my exchange as possible. In fact, I work at the international center specifically in study abroad department. I strongly recommend every student to go on exchange and use this incredible opportunity of finding himself/herself through the adventures of living in a foreign country.

My little piece of advice: Go to American University in Bulgaria – Great school with great people!

Post by Omari Lomiashvili, Junior at University of Montana, School of Business Administration

 

 

 

The Great American Summer: Northwest Edition

The sun is shining, temperatures are rising, and its time to start planning for summer. There is no better place to hike, bike, dance, or go on a road trip with your friends than the Pacific Northwest. Consisting of four great states and a variety of places and events to explore, you’ll run out of summer before you run out of things to do.

So pack your bags and hop in your car. The adventure starts now!

May 9th & 10th
Maggot Fest – Missoula, Montana
Average Temperature: 67 degrees

It’s the 39th annual Maggotfest this year, and the mix of competition and fun makes this a weekend you won’t want to miss! Bringing together 36 rugby teams from across the US and Canada, this tournament will not fail to entertain. Beer galore and an unforgettable party on Saturday night will keep you coming back year after year.

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May 16th & 17th
Silverwood – Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Average Temperature: 65 degrees

The second stop on your Great American road trip is just north of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho at Silverwood theme park. This is the weekend to take your family or friends on the Timber Terror roller coaster, since tickets into the park are half off! Make a quick stop at Lake Coeur d’Alene on your way up to the park for some relaxation by the water and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

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May 22nd – 25th
Sasquatch Music Festival – George, Washington
Average Temperature: 72 degrees

If you are a music junkie, then this is the event for you! Sasquatch Music Festival takes over the Gorge Amphitheatre in central Washington every Memorial Day weekend, and never fails to impress with a variety of musical genres and the beautiful Gorge scenery. Bring a tent, some friends, and a lot of energy, you’ll need a whole week to recover after a weekend at the Gorge.

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Early June
Seattle, Washington
Average Temperature: 69 degrees

Next stop: Seattle! Home of the Seahawks, Mariners, and Sounders, Seattle has numerous activities to enjoy and places to explore. You’ll need at least a week here to experience the main perks that Seattle has to offer, including a trip to Pike Place Market overlooking the Elliot Bay waterfront.

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June 27th & 28th
Lincoln City Kite Festival – Lincoln City, Oregon
Average Temperature: 65 degrees

Make your way down the coast for the second half of June and stop in Lincoln City for a kite festival on the beach! The weather should be warm enough by now to spend some much needed time playing in the sand and sticking your toes in some Pacific Ocean water. Make sure to stop in Astoria, Seaside, and Newport to explore what these coastal towns have to offer as well.

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July 10th – 12th
The Country Fair – Veneta, Oregon
Average Temperature: 83 degrees

We are halfway through our Great American adventure, and things are about to get a little weird (but in a good way!) Make a stop in Veneta, Oregon before you head any further east to enjoy the legendary Oregon Country Fair. Experience the art and culture that will nourish your spirit until you make your way back for next year’s fair!

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Mid-July
The Cascades – Central Oregon
Average Temperature: 85 degrees

Before you leave the great state of Oregon, make sure to stop in The Cascades where there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. Take a scenic bike ride from Sisters to Smith Rock and visit Bend’s Deschutes Brewery, the 6th largest craft brewery in the nation, as well as a handful of other microbreweries throughout the city. Sunriver Resort and Mount Bachelor aren’t too far away, either!

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Mid-July
Mountain River Outfitters – Riggins, Idaho
Average Temperature: 90 degrees

While making your way back through Idaho, you’ll probably want to head for water. It’s hot out and there is no better way to cool off than to go fishing on the river. Mountain River Outfitters has a variety of trips to offer for any fisher, from beginner to expert. Catch some dinner, then take a dip to cool off!

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July 23rd – 25th
Evil Knievel Days – Butte, Montana
Average Temperature: 81 degrees

Back to Montana, and back to legendary. At the end of July, the annual Evil Knievel Days takes part in Butte America to celebrate the late Robert Craig aka “Evil Knievel”: the world’s most famous motorcycle daredevil. Join 50,000 other visitors in the Mining City for a fun-filled weekend!

9_Evil Kenievil Days_Map of NW

August
Glacier National Park – Glacier, Montana
Average Temperature: 78 degrees

Tired yet? Don’t worry, your final stop on this Great American Summer adventure is here, and you’ll have plenty of time to get in touch with nature. Glacier National Park offers visitors over 700 miles of trails to hike and plenty of history to explore. Take the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Hidden Lake for some up close and personal experiences with mountain goats if you’re feeling adventurous! Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path on your Great American Summer adventure through the Northwest. Hope you get a chance to enjoy this beautiful corner of the United States!

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7 Bucket List Items for UM Students

There’s more to college than lectures, homework, and simple house parties. Especially when it comes to Missoula. There is so much to offer in the town and the surrounding area that you just need to know where to look. Well, here’s a start:

Float the Clark Fork

Grab a tube, a 6 pack, your friends, and hit the river. Sitting on the Clark Fork, sipping on a cold Summer Honey, and just relaxing with your friends is one of the best ways to spend a summer day. Hell, you may even make some new friends on the journey down the river! One piece of advice I would offer: don’t forget the sunscreen or the float will be a red and painful memory!

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Spontaneous Road Trip

If it’s just a day trip up to Flathead Lake, driving to Coeur d’Alene to go to Silverwood, playing a road of golf in Ronan, or whatever floats your boat, make some memories. I can honestly say some of the best times I have had in college are when my friends and I just hopped in the car and started driving. Ending up at the Raven Bar and swing dancing after a few beers is a memory I will never forget. So get your friends, get in your car and go!

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Missoula Brewfest

Choose one or two or three or all of them! You don’t have a chance to sample some of the best beers Montana has to offer in one spot. I mean where else can you sample Bayern, KettleHouse, Lewis & Clark, Great Northern Brewery, and so many more for $20?

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Themed Party

While this is not just a UM thing obviously, it is still a necessity. Throw a Christmas Party where everyone wears their Christmas best, a Tight and Bright Party, or a Beer Olympics and have everyone wear the attire of the country of their choice (A kilt with Ireland is a must). Where else are you going to see people sitting on Santas lap taking a shot of peppermint schnapps with a chocolate syrup chaser?

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Hike Blue Mountain

Playing a round of folf or not, the view is truly amazing. No matter the season it is always guaranteed to be a hike you will want to do again and again. Hitting the trails with your friends is one of the best ways to get a breathtaking view of Missoula.

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Downtown pub crawl

Missoula has such a wide variety of bars that experiencing them all (or most) in one night should be done before your college career is done. If you get the chance, try the Craft Beer Cup. A mini putt/pub crawl through downtown Missoula. Experience some of Montanas best beers while playing a round with your friends!

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Griz Cat at Washington Grizzly Stadium

The Brawl of the Wild, winner takes home The Great Divide Trophy for at least one more year. If you don’t spend at least one game in the student section in Washington Grizzly Stadium you are missing out on greatness. From Monte and Mo, to the fans doing a MONTANA…GRIZZLIES chant back and forth, to the mighty North End Zone, it is possibly the biggest event in Montana. Don’t miss out!

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While there are so many different and exciting events in Missoula that a true bucket list could reach triple digits, these are a few that I believe every college student should experience before they graduate and head out into the real world. So get going, college goes faster than you think!

Why We All Need to Get #MyMissoula Trending


Main hallThe views in this blog are absolutely not designed to discount the severity and importance of the issue of acquaintance rape and sexual assault. This is an issue that must continue to be talked about and brought to light so victims can ultimately feel more comfortable coming forward to confront and convict the cowards that are guilty of such heinous crimes.

By now, most have heard about the new Jon Krakauer book: Missoula, which is a narrative about sexual assaults at the University of Montana and are used to depict the national epidemic of college rape. Although the book has not been released at the time of this blog, the available information about the book’s content is sufficient to warrant a counter position regarding the image of the Missoula community. The book may offer a short disclaimer of the true nature of the community of Missoula, but the entirety of the book will potentially be damaging to Missoula’s image and reputation. However, I submit that instead of a counter position, Missoulians leverage the true nature of the community in combination with supporting the books content ideally creating a winning scenario for all.

Anyone that has actually spent any amount of time in Missoula or the surrounding areas understands the friendly, happy, outgoing, supportive, adventurous, artistic (insert your adjective here) nature of the town’s inhabitants. Missoula is big enough to offer some great entertainment and experiences, yet small enough not to get lost in the masses. This is a city that has also continuously appeared in lists of best cities in which to live (Outside Magazine, Livability), to raise outdoor kids(Outside Magazine), and to retire(Livability) in the U.S. for reasons relating to diversity and openness of the community.

This is just a glimpse of what Missoula has to offer. But deeper than that, this is a town where just last winter, I witnessed 5 cars sequentially pull over to help another who got stuck in the snow. Or in 2014 when the Mount Jumbo avalanche hit the lower Rattlesnake area, more than 50 Missoulians showed up just to help search for salvageable belongings for the affected families. These are just two, very small, everyday examples highlighting the true spirit of the Missoula community I have come to love. But these examples will not appear in the search results for those Googling information about Missoula, but Jon Krakauer’s Missoula, will.

In a perfect world, Missoulians and beyond can help Jon Krakauer expose the injustices of sexual assault while simultaneously proclaiming the positive nature and experiences Missoula has to offer. Unfortunately, Missoula will ultimately be reflected in the negative nature the content of Jon Krakauer’s book narrates. But that is not my Missoula. It is up to us to help reveal and share stories highlighting what makes this beautiful town, Missoula, in an effort to leverage the true nature of the community. We need to embrace this exposure as a challenge to further improve the Missoula community and become an example for all other communities. So share a memory or picture (something as simple as seeing cars pull over and helping someone stuck in the snow) that makes it so easy to LOVE Missoula. Share your #MyMissoula moment, story, and/or picture on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. using the hashtag #MyMissoula to get this trending to show the world what the true Missoula spirit looks like.