Reflecting on travel & the common factors

This post comes from Jordyn Jones, who spent Spring semester of her sophomore year in Granada, Spain. You can see her first post here:

Jordyn with friends at the Temple of Zeus in Athens, Greece

Jordyn with friends at the Temple of Zeus in Athens, Greece

I’ve found a quote that expressed my spring break more clearly than I can describe, “certainly, travel is more than seeing sights; its a change that goes on deep and permanent, in the idea of living”.

Before leaving for spring break to travel to three different countries in ten days I was extremely nervous for several reason. One it would be the first time for me to travel alone without the guide of my program and I was not sure if I could handle it. Second I also heard about the stereotypes of people from the specific countries that I chose to visit. Lastly I didn’t know any other languages besides Spanish and English and my thought was how was I supposed to survive without being able to communicate.  Of course these are all practically concerns but yet I was still excited to go on this journey and sure enough I’ve learned more than I imagined.

Jordyn with friends in the Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Jordyn with friends in the Colosseum, Rome, Italy

The world is literally more exciting than any classroom I can sit in or textbook I could read. I literally went to three countries and seen three of the Seven Wonders of the World all in ten days. Something that never could be understood just by seeing a picture in the book or realized that the monument is more important to the city than the glamorized effects that are seen in the movies. I had the chance to stand in the place of history as I stood in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, which was a gift to the French people from their own government. I also had the opportunity to stand where the great Ancient Greek civilization took place in the Acropolis in Athens Greece where one of the most important types of politics was developed. Lastly I’ve stood in the stands of the Colosseum of Rome, Italy where some of the greatest gladiator battles took place.

This spring break was the most educational, exhilarating spring break to ever take place. I’ve learned history from three different cities and even more about myself. To be honest spring break was one of the most stressful but amazing times of my life. Traveling the world is an amazing but tiring experience, I never considered that four plane rides, deciphering three different metro systems, and trying to tell taxis in three different languages where to go would ever be so difficult.

Jordyn holding up the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Jordyn holding up the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

People always glamorized or told stories of how beautiful traveling is and it is but they always leave out the massive detail that it’s hard and maybe it was only so hard because I am young, but when I thought of traveling the world I never thought of the actually action of traveling. Transportation was the least of my concerns in the beginning and yet it became my biggest when the rest of my nervous concerns really never existed as soon as I began my journey.

After ten days I realized one major thing that I never thought of that people are the same no matter which country you visit. It doesn’t matter where you live or what language you speak we generally all have similarities. We’re all excited when we meet people from different areas of the world, we all have aspirations whether it’s like mines to travel around the world or someone else’s dream just to get to America. An aspiration is an aspiration.

In short we all just want to enjoy life and after that realization the idea of stereotypes and no being able to communicate all went out the window because people from around the world will always have a common factor that will allow us to interact with each other. This idea will always stay with me for the rest of my life. The fact that I’m American and the French, Greeks, and Italians welcomed me into their world with open arms will always fill my heart with eternal joy.

Student Blog: Barenaked Hippie


Caitlin checks out the Colosseum on a day trip to Rome.

Read about Italy through Caitlin Crisafulli’s artistic and poetic language that paints the beautiful city of Florence, Italy and everything it has to offer from food to history.

Barenaked Hippie

The world as told by a 20 year old college student.

Caitlin Crisafulli

Florence, Italy

Spring 2014

Italy: Roman Excursion

This past weekend I traveled to Rome for the day! It is a very easy trip from Florence by train (we arrived at Roma Termini, which is their main station there). We went ahead and booked our train tickets and tour bus ticket ahead of time, which I highly suggest! It just helped make the trip less stressful. We used Trambus Open (110 Open) as our tour bus for the day. It was perfect because it takes you to all the major sites in Rome and it is a hop on, hop off bus so we were able to get off and walk around whenever we wanted! We started off by purchasing a ticket for around 12 euro at the Colosseum, which allowed entry into the Colosseum, the Roman Ruins, and the Pantheon. It also lets you skip all the lines! We lucked out and had beautiful weather, so it made riding on the top of the double-decker bus even more fun. At first I was worried about being able to do just a day trip to Rome, but I was very happy with how it turned out! If you only have a day, I highly suggest using a tour bus and then picking three or four of the stops that really interest you to get off at. There isn’t time to do all of them but I think it would be too tiring to do all of them anyways! Don’t forget to make a wish at the Trevi Fountain at the end of the day!


Exploring the Roman Ruins! This was taken when I first entered the ruins (the first level). There are many levels and takes a couple hours to see everything.


Our last stop for the day was the Trevi Fountain! It was very crowded at night, but also very beautiful.

Valerie Maggio

Florence, Italy