I’m the type of person who takes two bags, a purse, and my backpack when I travel home for one weekend. I’m usually also balancing a stack of loose items in one arm as I dig in my pocket for my car keys on my way out of town. Tomorrow, this all changes. When I arrive at the airport in the morning, I will be carrying only one item with me: a 45 liter hiking backpack. In this one small bag, I have crammed everything that I think I will need to make it through the next nine weeks. In a few short hours, my backpack and I will embark on a three week study abroad trip, in which we will join 19 other students and 2 professors on a journey throughout Greece. As soon as the program ends, I will set out alone on a six week backpacking trip throughout as much of Europe as I can squeeze into the time between then and the date on my return ticket.
I’m still not sure which part of the trip I am most excited about. As a classics major, I have always dreamed of visiting the amazing, ancient historical sites that I have been studying in class. For example, we will visit the tombs of Alexander the Great’s father Phillip II, the palace of Agamemnon, and the Oracle at Delphi. We will also visit such breathtakingly beautiful places as the island of Santorini and the beaches of Pefkohori. On the other hand, I am also a traveler at heart, and I have an overwhelming desire to travel to as many different places on this planet as possible. This is why I couldn’t resist adding the extra six weeks of travel to end of my study abroad program. This is also the reason why I don’t mind so much that I have to survive off of the contents of one small bag for an entire summer. This trip is not about what I take with me, but it is about what I take away from each place that I visit. I am eager to bring each beautiful, cultural, and historic site and city back home with me in my memories and through the photographs I take along the way.