Wheeler Sparks grew up in Lake Highlands, but you won’t find him here these days. He has been traveling the world since last July after he was awarded the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship upon his graduation from Washington and Lee University in Virginia. The fellowship gave Sparks $25,000 and only one directive — he could not return to the for one year. His main goal is to study and play the indigenous music of the countries he visits. On his tour he has, or will, visit , , , , , and even before he returns in August. “I have learned to love each place uniquely and for different reasons,” Sparks says. However, he says was tough and that his favorite country is . “It was an adventure at just about every turn,” he says. Sparks has posted photos and kept an online journal of his experiences at wheelersparks.com and says the most important lessons he has learned abroad “have been the ones I learned about myself.” The first thing he plans to do when he returns home to Texas is drink a glass of milk.