Europe

  • My French teacher organized an exchange program with a high school in La Rochelle, France. For the first couple of days, we stayed in Paris. For about a week and a half, we would stay with host families in the port town in the South. I learned and practiced French, made friends with people in...

  • We had accepted a quest. A wonderful, seemingly impossible quest that led to much more than what we had ventured out to find: a sweater.FINALIST 2015 FTF TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP My family and I traveled to Ireland one summer because of our Irish ancestry. “A sweater,” proclaimed my mother...

  • I am alone. Five days have gone by on my trip to France and Italy, and my geography teacher lets me roam the streets of Assisi, Italy, alone. My Romanesque sandals aid my feet across the cobblestoned alleyways. I close my eyes and pretend I am blind, sliding my fingers across the concrete walls of...

  • I remember being there. The very grounds where many people were sent to their deaths. It felt so unreal seeing all that remains. You know that moment that you could not believe that a part of history actually happened right where you are standing? I had that moment when I went to Auschwitz two...

  • I never expected Iceland to be so beautiful. It almost felt alien, in fact, with endless plains of gray rocks with a dusting of green moss extending far into the distance. A perpetually gray sky loomed overhead, starkly contrasting to the usually blue skies of my Colorado home. I could scarcely...

  • The days prior to arriving in Paris were full of warnings that the experience would be confusing, chaotic, and strange. It would be like landing on another planet, they said. A far cry from London and an even further cry from America. The trip under the English Channel, with nothing but darkness...

  • Never did I think I would be in a room with the greatest minds of our time. Yet here I was sitting only rows away from them hearing their amazing plans for change. I had received an invitation from the National Society of High School Scholars to participate in a series of events during Nobel Week...

  • I received news that Paris was a journey foreseeable in my bleak crystal ball a single and solid (and practically exact) year before takeoff. The wanderlust adventurer in me sky-rocketed at the thought of seeing a flag unlike America’s, the scholar in me bought too many French-English dictionaries...

  • Green.  And slimy, too.  All nestled in their shells.  Anything that is green and slimy belongs in the dirt, not in my mouth, if you ask me.  But this green chunk of slug (or should I say escargot?) sat on my fork a healthy distance away from my mouth as I sat in a French restaurant steps away from...

  • The wheels screeched on the runway as the plane touched down in Greece.  Images of clear blue water and mountainous islands were fresh in my mind.  As my classmates and I walked through the airport a feeling of separation consumed me.  I had never been in a place where I was the minority, where I...

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