Around the world in a lifetime

Senior Rafael Schoellmann is not daunted by traveling


Garrett Gage

Senior Rafael Schoellmann behind a world map. He wishes to visit Nepal later in his life.

by Garrett Gage, Staff Writer

The airport is always in a constant state of organized chaos. Passengers frantically trying to make it to their flight on time, checking baggage claim when they land, trying to grab a bite to eat before they take off into their steel birds again. This type of organized chaos and transportation is a deterrent to some, but for senior Rafael Schoellmann, this is his natural habitat.

“Traveling is in my families blood, almost everyone in my extended family has gone on long trips, studied in different countries, or worked in different countries,” Schoellmann said. “Their stories, pictures, and stuff they brought back with them inspired me at a young age to go out and experience the world in any way I can.”

For him, there is just something about traveling that resonates with him.

“[I love] getting to experience the different cultures, getting to see how people live their lives in different environments, and getting to see and study the geography, history, and places that are unique to certain parts of the world,” Schoellmann said.

When going to other parts of the world, he has a regimen that he does every time he visits somewhere new.

“I always go to a natural or historically significant site in whatever region I’m in. My favorite thing to do is study the history of the region I’m going to, and getting to experience first hand these sites,” Schoellmann said. “I also always bring back a unique object from that region and put it in my collection, it’s how I keep track of where I’ve been.”

Out of the dozens of places he has visited, only one sticks into his mind predominantly above the rest.

“My favorite place traveled thus far would have to be Geneva, Switzerland,” Schoellmann said. “Geneva has some of the most beautiful scenery surrounding the city I have ever seen. Situated in a valley blocked off in three directions by tall mountains, and Lake Geneva to the north of it, it has breathtaking views from almost anywhere in the city.”

For Schoellmann, there is more to love in Geneva than just its breathtaking vistas.

“It is home to the European U.N. Headquarters, The international Red Cross and red crescent movement, and various non profit humanitarian organizations, which I’ve visited and was very moved by,” Schoellmann said. “It has over 120 foreign mission embassies for the UN, it is one of the most culturally diverse cities I’ve seen, and infuses French, German, Italian, and English as its regional languages. It is also very historic and has various sites dating several centuries old which you can visit for free.”

Even with the large assortment of countries he’s visited, he has no plans of stopping. In fact, he’s just getting started.

“I want to travel to Nepal, I’ve always wanted to visit a Buddhist monetary in the Himalayas,” Schoellmann said. “ I also want to experience the infused cultures and religions that it is home to, with the different sects of Hinduism and Buddhism being found throughout, plus I’ve never had Nepalese food.”