Quick Refresher

My last entry is from almost a year ago, while I was traveling in Barcelona. I spent the next few weeks in bliss. I found my true calling – traveling. The hostels I stayed in, the adventures I had, the people I met, all were amazing. I went to Nice, France after Barcelona. Took a train to Cinque Terra, Italy, then to Florence and Rome. Took an overnight ferry from Bari, Italy to Greece. Had a wonderful time with the study abroad group in Athens. Took a weekend trip to Santorini, Greece where I hiked a volcano, swam in a natural hot springs, rode a donkey up a cliff, and some crazy other things that I’ll have to post about later. After my time in Greece with some of the best teachers and students I’ll ever have encountered, I went to Paris by myself for a week. These were all so amazing and deserve their own posts, so hopefully one day, I’ll get a chance to document them! 

After that whirlwind, including the time in California with my family, I was heartbroken to come home. I didn’t even want to finish my last year at university. But enough money and time was already spent that it’d be a true waste to not graduate. So that’s what I’ve been doing: focusing on graduating and saving up money to go back out into the world of wanderlust. I also fell in love with a boy. Unfortunately, that is over. As much as I still love him and wish we had a future together, I know better. So, here I am, just about 2 months until I graduate college. I’d like to start this blog up again and really try to stick with it. I can’t promise much besides a good story here or there and some tips I’ve picked up on the way. My next adventure? It starts June 9th with volunteering at Bonnaroo, then a roadtrip to California to work and live in a hostel in San Diego for the summer. I plan on going to Europe or the UK for autumn. I’ll come back home for Christmas. Then at the start of the new year, I make my way to Australia for an entire year! I can’t wait for my new life to begin – as a nomad.

Here are a few pictures: me in front of the Colosseum in Rome, the remnants of Socrates’ jail cell, and the Eiffel Tower at midnight.
 ImageImageImage

Advertisements

Euro-Trip Update with Tips!

Wow, so much to do still for my Euro-trip. I still need to pay for everything! I will be buying the plane ticket tonight from NYC to Barcelona on June 15th. I get off the cruise around 9 AM and my plane departs at 10 PM that night! I found awesome deals with STA… a student travel site. But I still recommend Kayak to everyone else! Actually, Kayak has the same plane ticket as STA but for about $10 less! A total price from Kayak for NYC to Barcelona with one stop is $469! Wow! Best I’ve seen since I’ve started looking on SO many different websites. Kayak FTW!

I also found out about a little community called CouchSurfing! It is awesome, and a little creepy. Basically you make a profile for yourself. Make friends. If you are traveling somewhere and want to either meet up with locals there, you can do it on there. OR the crazy part – you can stay with them in their house/apt/whatever for free. You can also be a host and put yourself out there for people from around the world to contact you to sleep on your couch/floor/extra bed/whatever. It looks awesome if you’re adventurous enough to try it out! The girl who I am back packing with and I are considering it, but nothing definite yet.

Also, the two of us have decided to buy Eurail passes. We’re gonna get the Select Pass for Youth for 4 countries for 7 days (within a 2 month period). I hope it’s worth it. It costs $385. That’s pretty steep, but then again, we are traveling through 4 countries in less than 2 weeks. It’s gonna be quite the crazy trip. Hence, why I’m SO excited for it!

Do you agree with my recommendations or do you have any recommendations of your own?

From Canada to Europe to California, Yes Please.

I really wanted to get all my pictures from when I went to London, England this past January and put them all into a little movie for your viewing pleasure… but I can’t stop obsessing over Greece! Let me just say, June 10th till August 4th I will be on vacation far from home minus a little less than a week! June 10-15 I will be on a cruise from New York to Canada (Nova Scotia.) The next day (well, I still need to buy a plane ticket, so hopefully the next day) I will be off to Spain to France to Italy and July 1st I will be in Greece until the 20th. I forget the exact dates but around July 27th until August 4th, I will be in California for my mama’s 50th birthday! Wow.

A little bit more about the Europe part of the trip: I talked to a few of the girls going on the study abroad trip and one said she was planning on backpacking for about 2 weeks before the trip. I immediately asked to join her. All I really know is we’re starting in Barcelona, Spain then going to the other countries and finally to Greece. Anything along the way, well it just happens! I love it this way, but I also want to start an idea of a little guide route on where I want to stop.

Barcelona to Paris to Nice to Monaco to Cinque Terre to Venice to Florence to Pisa to Rome to Naples to Amalfi Coast to Capri to Athens. I’ll have the weekends free during my stay in Athens so I’ll be able to go to Santorini and other islands then.

If anyone has any suggestions on where to go along the current (definitely subject to change) route or anything I should check out at one of those stops, let me know!

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but I am just going crazy with anticipation for this trip! Yes, I’m excited for Canada and California as well, but oh, my heart is set on this trip. If only I could just get past finals week and then obsess over this trip, then I’d be in good shape. Wish me luck! 

Study Abroad Process – Greece Update

Since fourth grade when we learned about Greek Mythology for the first time, I have been obsessed with seriously anything greek-related. My number one destination spot in the entire world would have to Greece. I just want to immerse myself in their culture, see everything I’ve read about in books, articles, and the internet, and see all the sites that make Greece, well, Greece.

In my opinion, college isn’t college without a study abroad program. After transferring schools, I lost some time and credits that force me to be a ‘super senior’ next year instead of graduating in less than a month like most of my friends. It’s alright, because it gives me another summer to be able to plan out a study abroad program. A few attempts in the previous years have failed, so I have my hopes high for this one to pull through. Last fall, I found my perfect program – through Google, no less. It’s through a Georgia university and teaches philosophy and art. Great, the art will count towards my art minor. Plus, I get to learn new drawing techniques ON SITE in GREECE. Wow. I was just whatever about the philosophy courses since I already had my philosophy 101 credit for my core classes. But, I looked into the syllabi, the one was all about greek mythology. My 10 year old self is shrieking with glee inside.

So, I found the perfect program, pretty affordable, and such a nice teacher that has helped me every step of the way. But the process for both schools is so tedious! I need this signature from this person, the syllabus from this teacher to give to that teacher to sign off, to this advisor, to that advisor, to faxes back and forth for signatures, then more signatures, and just ahh! I’m ready to pull my hair out. I’m not quite out of the jungle of signatures yet, but I’m probably 85% of the way there! Just wanted to give an update for my Greece trip.

As for my accommodations in Greece, I will be staying in an apartment in Athens, blocks from the Acropolis. It’s from July 2-20 with 4-day work weeks and 3-day weekends. Meals are provided during the 4-day work weeks plus a fridge in the apartment stocked with basics. All transportation (for classes) and entry into sites are included. I do have to book my own flight and pay for the airfare. Despite that, I think the price is great for what seems like such a perfect trip. I will continue to update as time goes along.

Have you participated in any study abroad programs or something similar? Would you like to/wish you could have? What was your experience like?