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A glimpse of Greece: my travel journal

Students pose with the Temple of Aphaia behind them. Courtesy Photo

My hopes of leaving the country for the first time fell into place this year with a UNK trip to Greece, wholly due to the motivation of Jake Jacobsen, my prior fall semester loper seminar professor. Jacobsen had brought up the trip during class and I was intrigued.

Although I was petrified, I took the leap and asked to meet with her to talk more about it. Jacobsen had become a comforting presence, but yet, leaving the only state I’d ever known was a terrifying prospect. Thankfully, her persuasion led me to make a decision that provided me with new experiences I’ll never forget and a chance to get to know my inspiring professor. With an extensive amount of journal entries written on the trip, I’m now delighted to share some of it with you. 

We were blessed with Vasili, the most caring, witty tour guide. Yet, he had a tough shell to crack. We were also thankful for Jacobsen’s sister, Sherry, who served as another sponsor for the trip. Sherry was the perfect kind of chaos that our group needed, and she knew it all. And of course, we were graced with Jacobsen, the motherly figure of the group who kept our calm in the most trying of times. I learned several lasting lessons from each of them.

Our group easily broke Vasili’s shell with our goofy, charismatic demeanor.

Thanks to Vasili, we traveled to see the Parthenon and the Acropolis Museum; the Temple of Poisedon; the islands of Hydra, Poros, and Aegina; the Corinth Canal; the Epidarius Ancient Theatre; Nafplio; Olympia and its ancient ruins; Delphi and its ancient ruins; and of course, the city of Athens.

In between, we learned about the culture of Greece, ancient pottery, and olive oil. We partook in a fair amount of shopping, and we ate all the gyros, tzatziki, baklava and greek salad that our hearts could content. We learned how to say thank you (efcharisto) and said it as much as we could. I collected shells on Tolo Beach, I met a man in Olympia who ran in the Olympics, I ate gelato in Nafplio, I stood in awe at the views of Delphi, I bought green pants from Athens and I bought jewelry from the islands. 

I made sure to tell Maria, our tour guide, that I loved her jewelry. In Greece, every single piece of jewelry is extremely significant and sacred to their people. Maria ended up asking me my name, and it was here that she gave me my Greek name, “Eba.” This comment turned into a joke, so much so that Jacobsen was convinced that Sherry didn’t know my name was in fact Eve.

At the island of Hydra, most of the group got a chance to jump into the freezing water. What an experience it was. We made sure to get a picture of us throwing our lopes, shivering all the while. We also had a lot of fun on the cruise to get to the islands, all dancing along to “Mamma Mia” and the macarena.

While the trip was heavily spent traveling from place to place in a mere nine days, our group made the most of it. We made endless memories through heart-to-heart conversations on the bus, at dinner while we were taking in all the sights, and everywhere in between in the beautiful country of Greece. This is how we quickly came to know each other. What started out as a set of strangers soon became a group bonded overseas. I can very easily say that if I catch anybody from this group on campus, I’ll be stopping for a long hello. The adventurous and spontaneous energy that our group held is what made the trip enjoyable and unforgettable. If you’re ever questioning whether to go on that trip, don’t hesitate – do it. I promise you won’t regret it; ask any one of us, and we’ll tell you that these kinds of memories and connections are ones that you’ll never let go of.

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Eve Healey
Eve Healey, Reporter
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