A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.
As you guys may (or may not) know, I recently graduated college about three and a half weeks ago. My family and I drove to Orlando for the ceremony and to our surprise (mostly mine); they announced that I had been named Valedictorian of my graduating class. I knew I was pretty nerdy, but wow. So, yes, I now have a Master of Science degree in Entertainment Business and Sports Management.
How did I celebrate? Thanks to my awesome family, I traveled through Key West, Florida for a weekend and Europe for two weeks! I went alone only with a suitcase and an open mind by my side. I’m now back in Nashville with 50+ new friends from all over the world and too many good memories to keep up with.
I flew into London and figured out how to navigate the underground by myself before finally meeting up with my tour mates. After getting to know everyone on the first day, I knew the next two weeks would be insanely fun. We had Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and a few others from Mexico, Austria and Japan. Together, we traveled through England (London), France (Paris, Beaujolais Wine Region, Fountainbleau, Nice, Avignon), Monaco, Italy (Pisa, Florence, Rome, Vatican City, Venice), Germany (Munich, Dachau, St. Goar) and Netherlands (Edam, Amsterdam). If you let that sink in… it’s really hard to believe we went through all of those cities in just 14 days.
I could sit here all day and tell you about my favorite memories from the trip and each site that I’ve seen… but we’d be here for a while. Instead, I’ll share with you a few things I’ve learned along the way:
- Open yourself to your surroundings. Talk to everyone. Learn about their culture. You never know whom you’ll meet and how they will impact you.
- Dance. I’m usually the one to sit on the sidelines and watch others dance away… because I don’t want to look like an uncoordinated fool. I threw this outlook out the window and I had so much fun on the dance floor with friends. Some of my favorite memories from my trip involve dancing without a care.
- Live it up while you can. “No one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep.”
- Try new things. Escargot. Frog legs. Wine. Cheese. Shots… other things I won’t go into. Try everything at least once. You never know what you may end up liking. At the very least, at least you’ve ticked the box.
- Clear your mind. Forget about the negative… focus on the positive. Life is good… so enjoy it.
- Laugh and smile. It helps the soul.
- Take your vitamins.
That’s all, folks. I’ll post some pictures from my trip here and there for a while!