I’m back with new experiences to share!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog, but as many of you know, I recently spent three weeks traveling through Europe as my college graduation celebration and had many requests to blog about the trip. If you’re Facebook friends with me, the best way to learn about my trip is to check out my photo albums, as most of the photos will have detailed captions! We traveled to France, Italy, and Greece, and had an amazing time. While this post won’t give all the details of my trip since I’m traveling more this summer and then starting a new job, I wanted to tell you what it was that made this trip an incredible experience.

Sometimes it’s about the journey. Sometimes it’s about the experiences. This time it was about the people.

I went on the trip with my friend Danielle, whom I’d met last summer at my internship, and we researched and planned for months in preparation for the trip. Since we were funding most of the trip ourselves (our parents were kind enough to pay for our flights as our graduation gifts), we knew we had to do Europe the cheap way. We bought Eurail passes to save on train trips but we knew another big expense would be our accommodations. I had done hostels and hotels during my previous Europe trips and had managed to find some pretty good deals, but Danielle wanted to go even cheaper. Much to our parents’ dismay, we decided to try out Couch Surfing, a program where people open their homes for travelers to stay with them for free. And while we were a bit wary at first, it turned out to be an amazing experience that provided us with opportunities we never would have gotten otherwise.

While of course I’ll remember the glittering Eiffel Tower against the Parisian night sky, the candy colored buildings built into the cliffs of Cinque Terre, and the shiny blue domes against the bright white town of Oia, Santorini; the fondest memories came from the simplest pleasures.  When I look back at the trip, I remember our “backwards night” in Paris where we ended up having dinner at 1 a.m. and Joe, our host in Paris, doing his best Jamaican accent impression. I remember conversations late into the night comparing our culture with our Italian hosts’ culture. I remember having a foosball tournament on the roof of an apartment overlooking Rome, and four friends in Naples cheering me on as I finished the last slice of the largest pizza I’ve ever eaten. And in Greece, I remember laughing hysterically on our scuba trip at a man who kept referring to our scuba guides as Greek gods, a 70-year-old Dutch man in a speedo who took way too many pictures of us, and a boat ride that was more like a whitewater rafting trip. It was meeting all these people, learning about their lives, and making connections that really made the trip an amazing experience.

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