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This past spring, my post-Fairview High path was paved: Ivy League college. Liberal arts. Lots of argyle.

That was when April 1st slipped two small envelopes into my palms, indicating that my top college choices would not be mine this year.

That was where my journey first began. The two paths were clearly marked: one finely trimmed, well-trodden and labeled “back-up school,” versus the compilation of bare patches nearly devoured by jungle and tagged “Gap Year.”

Thank Frost: I will take the road less traveled.

Over the next 15 months, I will work as an intern for internationally recognized companies in multiple fields of business across four continents and in at least seven countries.

My ultimate goal is to get a better understanding of the answers to these two questions: Who am I? And what is it that I want?

While this inquiry is not unique, I will approach it via an international odyssey that will take me from Boulder to Nepal, India, San Francisco, various locations in Europe, multiple metropolises in China and perhaps even Africa.

My background in international travel and work experience provide a platform that will allow me to engage in stimulating endeavors. I have an appetite for adventure that has led me to more than 25 unique countries with experiences ranging from a one-on-one meeting with a Living Buddha, a walk next to penguins in the southern-most city in the world, a position at the head of the parade for Saint Antonio in Amalfi, Italy, and appearances on German and Italian TV.

At 16, I sipped yak-butter tea (ingredients: four tablespoons solid yak fat, one cup warm water) inside a smoke-infested, two-room home in rural China before flying to the other side of the world to dine with European deputies in Versailles.

By 17, I was working personally with famed designer Christian Lacroix on the Plaza Hotel account as an intern with a prestigious marketing firm in Manhattan. And now, at the ripe-old age of 18, I hope to discover the location and career that will help me to be the best that I can be.

Perhaps this uncommon road is where I will discover what I truly love.

My first exotic location will be Nepal, during which time the Lord Buddha’s birthday will beckon lights and celebrations from every corner of the country. All the epiphanies, tribulations and tidbits of advice that arrive during my odyssey will be yours to devour.

I invite you to live vicariously through my travels, challenges and triumphs as I take on the world during my gap year.

Fairview High graduate Monika Lutz will chronicle her gap year with occasional columns in the Colorado Daily. E-mail her at monika@monikalutz.com.

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