Senior graduates early to take off on a global adventure


Cara Spradling.

Senior Cara Spradling spent time with school children in Taizhou, Zhejiang. She is graduating early to explore other cultures and travel all over.

Miranda Cardenas, Feature Editor

While most seniors will be gearing up for the final semester of high school in early January and getting ready to go off to college, senior Cara Spradling will be getting ready to embark on the trip of a lifetime.

Spradling plans on graduating early and using what would be the last semester of her high school experience to travel the world and expand her comfort zone.

“I plan on traveling to Latin America first, then Europe once it gets warm so I get a balance of cultures,” Spradling said. “In total, I’ll be gone for about five to six months.”

Spradling sees this as the perfect time to take a trip like this as it’s bridging her past of high school to her future and her aspirations.

“I have free flights that expire when I turn 21 so I want to use them now before I get too busy,” Spradling said. “I’ve traveled before and it’s one of my favorite things to do, I love learning about different cultures and how others live their lives.”

Aside from having a love and passion for traveling, Spradling has also come to have a passion for a sport not as common in Texas as it is in other states.

“I’m going to surf and see the world,” Spradling said. “I’ve been surfing since 2016 and I’ve been in love with it ever since then.”

In past trips, Spradling has done numerous service projects

to help communities in numerous countries, and hopes to do more service work on this trip as well.

“Service work while on the trip would be great,” Spradling said. “I’ll see if any projects

are available once I get to my destinations.”

With such an expansive trip that has unpredictable possibilities, Spradling has the support of her loved ones to help send her off.

“While my family and friends are all supportive, I feel like they’re still a little sad I’ll be gone for so long,” Spradling said. “My family’s most nervous about me going on my own in a foreign country especially surfing, since it’s such a dangerous sport.”

One member of Spradling’s support system is one of her best friends senior Taylor Snyder, who’s known Spradling since their freshman year.

“The past two summers she went to China to teach kids English, and that’s when she fell in love with the idea of sharing cultures and fell in love with traveling, which I think is really awesome,” Snyder said.

Spradling graduating early unfortunately means she will not be graduating on the same day as Snyder and the rest of her friends.

“We’re sad that we’re not gonna be able to graduate with Cara on the same day, that’s a big thing,” Snyder said. “There’s going to be a missing piece of the puzzle of our group.”

Snyder speaks out on how this trip will also affect her along with the rest of Spradling’s friends.

“Almost every Friday night all of our friends go to Cara’s house to hang out because it’s like a second home to us, so in a way, it’s upsetting that she’s going to be gone and we won’t get to see her or her family any more,” Snyder said. “Especially her parents because they’ve played a big role in all of our lives for a while now, so I feel like it’ll just be a weird transition.”

Another person impacted by Spradling’s plans is another friend, senior Eva Dwelle, who’s known Spradling since their eighth grade year.

“Cara loves learning about other cultures and meeting different people so I’m excited for her to pursue her passions out of her comfort zone,” Dwelle said. “I’m so proud of her for graduating early but when she goes on her trip I’m gonna miss her so much.”

Dwelle offers Spradling some advice to take with her while she’s traveling the world next year.

“I hope she doesn’t forget about her friends,” Dwelle said. “But I also hope she just enjoys her time to relax and replenish.”

Entering a new chapter of life, Spradling looks forward to expanding her knowledge of foreign cultures.

“I hope to get a better understanding of other cultures and languages out of this trip,” Spradling said. “I’m most looking forward to being completely out of my comfort zone [and] alone in a foreign country, but I think the hardest part will be missing everyone I love at home.”