I must say, I am incredibly excited to go back to Europe. I was in London for a week three years ago with my family and it wasn't nearly enough time. There is so much to do and see, so much history - and that is only in one city! It will be such a great experience to explore outside America again. With our class, we are going to have the opportunity to tour England, Ireland, and Wales, go canyoning, hike up a mountain, do a bicycle tour, and explore castles all around!
Oh, and we will also be learning about sustainability abroad (I should probably include that - Hi UNI!). The UK is known for its sustainability efforts, which we learned about in pre-trip meetings. I am excited to visit different universities that are leaders in sustainability and meet their students. They have student organizations centered around sustainability, so it will be cool to see how their campus is involved.
There are a few things that I am specifically pumped about. First of all, the people I will be going with all seem awesome. There are so many different women (and a few men) that will be traveling, and although we have only had a few classes together, it is obvious that getting along won't be a problem. It seems that everyone's main goal is to have a memorable and enjoyable experience, and with that in mind I don't foresee any problems among each other (which would be the first thing to ruin a good trip).
Secondly, I cannot wait to meet new people and hear new ideas from those we will interact with abroad. Like I said, we will be learning about sustainability, and Europe seems to be a bit farther along that road than the US. There is so much we can learn from others, and I have found that the more I travel, the more open-minded I become. This will be another great opportunity to hear all about other people's perspectives and to learn from their experiences.
Finally, not only will we be learning stuff that interests me, we will be outdoors a ton! I have taken many outdoor recreation classes, as well as been very involved in outdoor activities such as rock climbing, canoeing, surfing, and more. I am even the summer naturalist at Backbone State Park this year for goodness sake! I absolutely love exploring outside! And this trip will give us the opportunity to do just that.
Great people, great experiences, the great outdoors... if the weather holds up for us, this could really shape up to be an incredible trip. Wish us luck during our travels, and be sure to check out this blog daily to stay updated on everything we have been up to.