This semester has been one full of serious bucket list productivity, and the last couple weeks have been no exception! Ever since I can remember—thanks to the continual influence of sources including the Disney Hercules movie, 9th grade social studies, and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants—it has been my dream to travel to Greece and look out over the blue Mediterranean Sea. I have also always dreamed of backpacking with my mom in Europe. Over the last couple weeks, I have been able to fulfill both of these lifelong dreams!
After my dad and step-mom left Ireland, I had a short turnaround time to do some laundry, pack my bags, and gear up for my southern European expedition. I flew into Athens and met my Aunt Rosie for a five-day tour of Greece, and afterwards I met my mom in Rome for a week-long tour of Italy. It can be scary sometimes to finally visit places you have hoped to see for so long, because there is a fear that it won’t live up to the high expectations. My experiences in both Greece and Italy put this fear at ease; the adventures were absolutely all I dreamed and more!
Each location had its own unique flavor and beauty. The rich history of Athens and Rome felt so alive and tangible as I explored some of the most prominent sites of these ancient cities. From the summit of the Acropolis and the base of the Coliseum I stood in awe of the incredible architecture and past that shaped it. In addition to the magnificence of the big cities, I also enjoyed breathtaking scenery of some more distant Mediterranean locations including Santorini and the Cinque Terre. The times I spent hiking and exploring in these areas are some of the fondest and most vivid memories I will take from my time in Europe.
My two weeks in Greece and Italy was the last of my extracurricular travels during my time abroad. This adventure was the cherry on top of an incredible semester of exploration and experiential learning of a lifetime. After time away, it is always nice to return to my cozy Galway apartment. This return is especially exciting as it marked the start of my final week in Ireland! One last hoorah in this place I have come to love so much!
Irish Phrase of the Week: Queue: A line of people. Example: The queue to get into the Vatican Museum seemed to stretch a mile long!