The beauty of traveling is in understanding that no matter what you do, something amazing will happen, and no matter where you go, you will end up somewhere unforgettable. – Suse Sampaio Simões
Suse Simões, a Communication major from Brazil, is a self-described “dream chaser.” At Chaminade, Suse has been involved in the Spanish Club, Zumba, social media, and service-learning but is especially addicted to travel. She has been able to fulfill her dream of studying while traveling through Semester at Sea, and will pursue a career as a diplomat. Suse’s adventure blog is: SuseTraveler/Wordpress.com
An interview with Suse:
You describe yourself as a “dream chaser.” What dreams have you fulfilled since you have attended Chaminade?
Getting a degree from Chaminade has fulfilled several dreams. Just coming to Hawaii was a dream. [As I was growing up] it didn’t seem possible, financially and emotionally, to move to a distant place, where I would most likely struggle far from family and friends. But Hawaii seemed to be such a magical place that for me it was worth it. Today, I call paradise my home.
Attending Chaminade University was also another dream come true. I found the opportunity to grow academically and professionally, pursuing a degree that had seemed out of my reach. Now, I will be the first person in my family to graduate from an American institution.
I always knew traveling was one of my greatest passions, but I never knew how to make it happen. Semester at Sea, the study abroad program that takes students around the world on a ship, had at first seemed financially out of my league. Nevertheless, with scholarships and the support of my family and Chaminade faculty, it became a reality.
Now, I am leaving Chaminade with not just simply new dreams, but also with the passion and faith that I can accomplish them.
What was the most inspirational or meaningful event or moment that has happened to you on your travels?
I traveled to Morocco to volunteer last winter break by myself. People thought I was crazy — really, crazy. I went anyway, and volunteered at a humble day care for a whole month. When I got there, I thought I would meet some amazing little kids and that I was going to learn so much about them. I did; but it was so much more than that. I never expected to get so close to the children’s teacher, who invited me to her home to meet her family. The moment when I was sitting at the table with all of them, sharing a huge plate of Moroccan food, surrounded by Moroccans that cared so much about me, and did not care about our differences, reminded me that there are so many good people in the world just willing to help without anything in return. It touched me to do the same.
Do you have a favorite inspirational quote or thought?
“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it,” by Hardy D. Jackson. All of us, at some point in life, feel unhappy about something we are doing, making our lives and those next to us miserable. Life is meant for us to do things that we love and are passionate about. The more passion we have for our life, the more beautiful it will be, in our eyes and others’. Being true to ourselves, and respecting others the way they are, makes the world more pleasant. It does not hurt to inspire others and motivate those that have lost their passion along the way.
What’s next? If you could go anywhere, in any role, where would you go, what would you do?
My plans are to go back home and pursue a career in diplomacy, where I hope to keep traveling the world for the benefit of my country and others. However, there are many places I would still like to visit and discover. If I could go anywhere right now, it would be Cuba. I love history, which makes Cuba a winner, since it seems to have been “stopped” in time. I am also a dancer, and the Salsa Cubana is my favorite music style. Despite the struggles, Cuba still manages to be alive in such a beautiful way. I will make it there someday.