From Tourist to Traveler - My Family Travels

Spring break is a time to get away from the drama of high school. A time to escape the catty girls or rowdy boys and relax for seven peaceful school-free days.  When the opportunity arose to take a school led trip halfway across the world to Greece and Italy, I had my doubts at first, but after some consideration, the pros definitely outweighed the cons.  Sure, I would have to go halfway across the world without my family during my relaxation time, and use my entire life savings in the process, but I would get to have an experience of a lifetime while being immersed in different cultures, and get learn different languages while making my dreams of traveling abroad come true.  So, with a click of a button, I signed up for the trip and within one year, I was in a totally foreign place.

This trip included travel accommodations to two countries, spanning over five well-known cities beginning in Athens, Greece and ending in Rome, Italy.  When our flight landed in Athens, an energetic tour guide named Gloria greeted us with a welcome in greek and told us to “hang in there” because we would have an extremely eventful day on almost no sleep because of the massive jet-lag. 

The city of Athens was unlike anything I had ever seen before. There were buildings upon buildings and they looked somewhat rugged. As soon as we checked into the hotel, we got time to explore the city.  To be honest, walking around with no adults, made me nervous. Let’s just say the people there got much closer than I anticipated. Once I felt more comfortable though, a few of my classmates and I did some shopping, and we all had our very first authentic meal; a gyro. At that moment, the feeling really set in. I had been waiting for this trip for an entire year, and there I was. Thousands of miles away and having the time of my life.

Over the ten days of the trip, I learned more about the Parthenon in Athens, the Colosseum in Rome, the Oracle in Delphi, and much more.  I wish I could talk about each unique place, but that could take hours. Just trust me when I say; that trip was the best and definitely worth every penny.

Although it has been three months since I took this European adventure, I find myself wishing I were back in Greece exploring everything it has to offer, or back in Italy learning even more about its history and eating Pizza.  I know I’ll be back though. I have an entire lifetime ahead of me and many more places I’d love to see.  I like to use the words of my tour guide Gloria,  “You aren’t just a tourist anymore, you are a traveler.” I couldn’t have said it any better myself.  There is a huge difference between reading about a certain place in a book and experiencing it in person.  When you get the opportunity to do something like traveling abroad, you want to go back to a place not only because its beautiful and different, but because it has changed you. 

Here's the video from my trip:
Many thanks to Ping News for the photo.

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