Travel Safe, Travel Far, Travel Wide, and Travel Often
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to study abroad with Washburn University to Paris, France and London, England. May 25, 2014-June 4, 2014 were quite possibly the quickest days of my life!
We had planned our stay in Paris around the “nicest” day, which we saved for visiting the Eiffel Tower. However, when that day arrived, the sun didn’t come out once. Photograph #1 depicts this perfectly. The fog, rain, and chilly breeze didn’t stop up from taking pictures and climbing clear to the top, umbrellas and rain jackets in tow. Once at the top, it was one of the most magnificent views I have ever seen. You could see for miles and miles, and the fog made it that much more special. I learned more life lessons from this short trip than I could have ever imagined: life doesn’t always go as planned, and sometimes you just have to smile with the rain.
While on the trip I learned how to successfully maneuver through cities in another country—In Paris we rode The Metro and a train and in London we got from place to place on the Tube and busses. Picture #2 shows our group waiting for the Metro to arrive. Walking almost 10 miles everyday, you can see the exhaustion on our faces, but you can also see the pure happiness, as we were in the midst of experiencing a trip that would change our lives forever. We had to read Paris maps that were only in French and also learn how to communicate with others who did not speak fluent English. We worked on those math skills we thought we would never have to use in “real life” by having to quickly convert dollars to Euros and Pounds, as well as make and stick to a budget. Fun Fact: While in London we packed lunches everyday in order to save money.
This trip truly never fell short of the word “astonishing,” but I did have a few favorite sites. We took a train to the Palace of Versailles and it was truly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It was my absolute favorite of the whole trip. Everywhere you looked there was beauty, in the staircase rails, in the velvet wallpaper, the Story of Hercules that was painted on the ceiling, the (twenty) gardens that surround the place, and the true history that I got to see for myself. Picture #3 shows us waiting to enter the golden gates. The gates I never wanted to leave.Last, but certainly not least, in picture #4 we are standing in London with the London Eye behind us, creating friendships and memories that will never be forgotten. Days after we arrived home, I was ready to go back. The realization that the trip of a lifetime was over was a bittersweet moment. But, that’s exactly what it was: The trip of a lifetime. This trip has already made me consider other study abroad options as well as have a completely different perspective of the world, and life in general. To say that this trip transformed me is an understatement. It was everything I had expected and more.
Palace of Versailles
The London Eye