Reasons To Travel After Your Program

Melina Wilcox
Major: Sculpture
Minor: Art History
Book Arts in Europe, Summer I 2017

When I was planning my six weeks in Europe—the first four of which were  apart of a study aboard program—all I had were idyllic notions of how wonderful and life-changing this journey would be. I would be remiss to say those notions never came to fruition, but what I wasn’t really expecting prior to this trip was the insane amount of exhaustion that accompanies this much travel.

The last two weeks of my study abroad were constantly in motion—we spent five days in Switzerland, two in Germany, and five in the Netherlands. We spent days 9-5 working in different studios making paper, carving lino blocks, etching plexi plates, and printing on traditional presses. Then, we would stay up as late as possible exploring the city, visiting art museums, and meeting new friends in every place we went to.

 

Then, once our study abroad finished, a friend and I went on to spend another two weeks traversing Europe—two days in Switzerland, three in France, three in London, and six in Ireland. Our first day back in Basel, Switzerland we spent the entire day at Art Basel, which is one of the most eminent art conventions in the world. That day we also woke up at 3am in Amsterdam to make our flight. The next day we spent nine hours hiking 22.6 miles through the Alps. After that day, we walked at least ten miles a day through every city we found ourselves in. Our last night in London, we stayed out until 2am dancing with friends we made earlier that day at a street food festival, even though we had to leave our hostel at 4am to catch our flight to Dublin. We spent a few days hiking through the Wicklow Mountains, just south of Dublin, before heading back to the city. Our last few days in Ireland we hit our normal ten miles per day, despite not being able to sleep more than a few hours a night thanks to loud roommates and typical Irish rain.

When you’re travelling abroad you really have to just get up everyday and go. There is so much to see and you have such a limited window of time to see it all. You’ll rarely regret saying no to going out; you will definitely regret saying no and missing out on an adventure.

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