The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is an example of how travel happens in many ways and is impacted by those who we travel with. Though there are many factors that can affect our experiences, it is our own decisions that ultimately form the experience. This is evident in the text through Lucy and her courage in the world of Narnia. She never ceased to do anything for the benefit of those around her, kept a positive attitude, and took in the beauty of every experience. The adventures and imagination throughout the plot held my attention, but there were also small moments in the text that gave insight into Lucy that really caught my eye. I felt that it was easy to draw parallels between how she was experiencing the world of Narnia and how I try to travel. It was in the first half of the reading that I felt a connection with her character on page 70. This passage explains her pure enjoyment of the sea in such a way that literally brought a smile to my face because it made me think of my small reminders to myself to seize the moment no matter where I am. Especially in my travel experiences, I make sure that I take in all that is around me. In Spain, I would leave with extra time to get to class just to walk slower and look around. I would take pictures on my walk and send them to my parents so they could see the beauty that I was experiencing every day. I would risk being a little dizzy on the train to Madrid to look out at the towns we were passing through. We would all be walking through Alcalá, and I realized that I would be silent sometimes just because I was looking around. Simple instances like those create images in your mind that will remain forever. This is why I instantly felt the connection to Lucy in the text as she was just enjoying the morning on the boat in a world she never knew that she would return to.
In turning to the second half of the book, it is on the island on the voices that shows Lucy’s courage. As her peers are begging her not to do as the invisible men/Duffers are asking, she replies, “‘But it’s to save my own life as well as yours’” (Lewis 153). This is an example of someone stepping out of their comfort zone. I believe one of the greatest ways to learn and test yourself in through going out of your comfort zone. This happens very often when traveling out of the country, and it was things such as language barriers and cultural differences that began to teach me more about myself. I knew my first mission trip to Costa Rica would be an eye opening experience, but the challenges I faced there opened me up to furthering my involvement in international service experiences. Lucy “took one for the team” and reversed the spell on the Duffers, and through this, she met the Magician and saw Aslan again. From opening up to do this task, she gained more from it than expected. Ironically, I find that I thrive more when I am out of my comfort zone because I am aiming to take any opportunity to learn about my surroundings and myself. This requires one to have an open mind and an open heart just as Lucy does when on the voyage and dealing with those around her (especially Eustace). Being in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Spain all forced me to use my Spanish regardless of how bashful I was about it, but then these were the moments that I was improving most with my speaking. I admire Lucy’s courage and openness in the world of Narnia, as their voyage had them facing unknown experiences one after another.
When I initially told my parents that I was interested in going on a two week mission trip to Costa Rica, I anticipated a “no way” from them. Luckily, they gave me permission to participate, and this was the first time I had taken a big chance in my own life to really challenge myself. The idea of taking chances with travel was sparked in my mind when Reep, Edmund, Caspian, and Lucy volunteered themselves to stay with the three sleepers, regardless of how much magic they felt was on the island and the risk they were putting themselves in. From taking this chance, they were successful in learning about Aslan’s table, how to wake up the three men, and nearing the end of their voyage. Travel involves taking chances in order to face the unknown, and again, I admire Lucy for her motivation in every new situation to know more.
Lucy represents courage and optimism on the Dawn Treader from her caring for Eustace from the start, doing all that was needed of her, and even stepping up to the plate with Caspian. Her actions created opportunity for them to progress on their voyage amidst seeing the beauty in everything. Her voyage brought me back to moments when I was staring at my toes digging into the Costa Rican black sand, trying to converse with a Nicaraguan mother about her family, and my long walks of just taking in my surroundings in Spain. An open mind and an open heart to new experiences are the intangible form of a plane ticket to somewhere new.