I always said I want to see all of Europe by the time I die. Two summers ago I seized an opportunity to travel to Italy, Greece, and Ephesus, Turkey for two amazing weeks. This was my opportunity to travel overseas and there was no way I was going to let it pass me by.
From a small town called Timberville, Virginia, arriving in Italy was like nothing I have seen or experienced. My favorite area in Italy was Rome, because it was not like the small town I live in, but it was crowded along with amazingly beautiful. At night when all of the buildings were lit up I knew that I was not a home anymore, because nothing at home makes me stand and stare in disbelief at its beauty. Pictures do not, by any means of the imagination, justify the majestic view of all the buildings lit up in Italy. I remember gasping in awe at the beautiful water and statues that were lit up among the fountain. The difference between the buildings and monuments during the day and then at night changes you whole perspective about the view because its like seeing the same thing, but for the first time. I yearned to sit on the side of the fountain and let my feet settle into the crystal clear water. I did not desire to part from this place. In the movie Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants when the camera pans over the buildings in Greece and you’re like “oh my goodness, I want to be there right now,” well the movie definitely did not lie. The rural parts of Greece were astonishing to see. I took in all of the white buildings along the hillside and I tried to imagine what it would be like the wake up every morning and follow the sunrise up over the water.
On the 3-day cruise around the Greek Islands, I laid up on the top of the “Aquamarine” to tan and watch the islands pass by. On an excursion to Ephesus, Turkey it reached about 100 degrees by the time we arrived, I was wearing a thin sundress and continued to feel the heat. Even though it was about the hottest day on my trip I do not regret going to Ephesus. Our tour guide carried around a huge yellow umbrella the whole time so that no one would get lost. It definitely did work, but made the tour guide look ridiculous. When you look at the ruins and the “old timey toilets,” which I remember being like, “what in the world are those?,” it made me wonder how things once looked. Two friends and I sat on the toilets and got our picture taken, which was hilarious. Walking though the ruins of Ephesus kind of made me sad in a way to think about how beautiful this place use to look before it was destroyed, rebuilt, and then later partially destroyed again by an earthquake.
Next summer I am hopefully going to get the chance to go to Spain with my Spanish teacher and a small group. I am excited to think about the story I will be able to tell after this summer. Traveling the world is not an everyday opportunity; so when you are given the chance, do not let anything get in your way.
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