The Travels of a Maverick

Student Adventures Take Her Around The Globe


When traveling the world, anything can happen. Catrine Thorrud went to Greece with her mother, and didn’t expect what would happen while they were there. A woman stopped the two of them and claimed they won a contest and would be able to participate in a commercial. According to this woman, who claimed to be from Queens, but was most certainly not from Queens, there would be a limousine waiting for them to take them to the commercial shoot. They obviously never went.

Thorrud was born in Tønsberg, Norway, and is currently 20 years old. She attends Mercy College, majoring in Communication Studies, and she is in her junior year. She can speak Norwegian, English, which she learned from her American mother, and some French. Thorrud has also been to 19 countries, some of which include, France Italy Portugal, Spain, England, Dublin, Turkey and Poland. Thorrud has always had opportunities to broaden her horizons.

“My family loves to travel. When I was younger, my dad would drive all the way down to Germany, and we would stay there for a couple of days. Then we would drive to Belgium, or down to France. What’s nice about Europe is that when traveling there, the distance between each country is not that far,” said Thorrud.

Thorrud done plenty of hiking, and one of her favorite places to do it is in the Pyrenees mountain ranges. The scenery is incredible, but the actual trails are difficult to traverse due to the climate and steep climb.

One of the places Thorrud looks back on most fondly is Italy. The first time she had ever visited the country was on a trip with her marching band. They played a local show for a town that was close to where the band would be staying, and the next day, they would be playing for nuns, which Thorrud found entertaining. She later went Italy once more, spending time in Rome visiting tourist attractions.

“Rome has such beautiful ancient architecture, and they are so well kept, which I really liked,” said Thorrud, reminiscing on her unique experiences.

Thorrud has been to various places, so choosing a favorite is difficult, but there are logical reasons as to why Italy has remained one of the best in her mind.

“Food is very important to me when I travel, so when I went to Italy, I was in food heaven. I ate pizza in the countryside of Italy, where the tomatoes on the pizza were from the backyard. It’s still the most delicious pizza I’ve ever had,” said Thorrud.

She also recalls that one of her greatest experiences was going to Poland. For the duration of her trip, she visited the salt mine in Krakow, one of the oldest salt mines in existence. She was served boar against her knowledge almost every night throughout her stay. She also visited concentration camps, Auschwitz, and Birkenau, an extension of Auschwitz that was built to deal with congestion in the main camp.

“You always see pictures of the concentrations camps and learn about it in school, so to actually go there myself and see it with my own eyes was enlightening,” said Thorrud.

“I thought it was great that I got that opportunity, but it was quite sad as well. It reminds us of how awful humans have been to each other,” added Thorrud, when discussing how informative the visit to the camps were.

Thorrud also states that some trips established a sense of independence in her. At eight years old, she and her twin sister flew to America alone. She did this more frequently as time passed, going once a year, until sometime in her teenage years. She also returned to the United States as an exchange student, helping her become more self-sufficient.

Thorrud decided to attend Mercy in order to further her already vast experiences.

“I came to Mercy because I wanted to attend a school that was close to New York City, because of all the endless possibilities it has to offer,” said Thorrud.

“In Norway, you do not get to incorporate as much experience into your degree when you’re studying. So what I like about the United States is that you can do internships while studying, so you gain experiences that are applicable to real life, and the theory from college.”

Considering her desire to attend school for further opportunities, it is apparent that Thorrud is always looking for ways to broaden her horizons. In an environment like college where people are supposed to gain experience, Thorrud has spent time doing just that before she ever even set foot on campus. Through her travels, Thorrud has learned valuable life lessons, and will likely continue along this path as she completes her time at Mercy.