When nine months out of your year are taken up by classes, exams, and other time-consuming responsibilities, summer is undoubtedly the best time to travel. Whether you study abroad, travel with family, or go on a day trip with friends, getting out and exploring is one of the best opportunities summertime has to offer.
This summer I have been fortunate enough to travel a few different times, both internationally and within the United States.
May: London, England and Paris, France
My summer exploration started two days into the summer when I boarded a plane for Europe.
Last semester I took an Honors course about English/French literature and art in the 1920s. As part of the course, the nine students in the class got to travel for almost two weeks around England and France. After dreaming of visiting London for years and years, I was so excited when this opportunity presented itself at the very beginning of the school year.
Over the 12 days of our trip, we ventured around the city of London, eating lots of fish and chips (every restaurant boasted that they in fact made the best in the city) and shopping our way through Regent street. We even had the quintessential experience of having afternoon high tea.
We also visited some of London’s most famous landmarks like the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe theater, and short hour and a half bus rides took us to locations like Oxford University, Stonehenge, and the town of Bath.
After 6 days in London, we boarded the Eurostar underground train to Paris. Paris greeted us with famous sites like the Louvre, the Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, Musee d’Orsay, and the Eiffel Tower.
One night, a group of us climbed to the top of the Eiffel tower to take in what was an extremely surreal experience of looking out over the entire city of Paris as the sun set. Afterwards, we sat on the lawn underneath and watched the tower light up while drinking champagne out of clear plastic cups. As simple as it was, that night was my favorite night in Paris and is a time I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
June: Boulder, Colorado
The month of June brought my family and me to Boulder, Colorado. While we originally travelled West for a family memorial service, we decided to make the most of our trip and stay for a few extra days.
In addition to seeing a lot of our extended family, we did some hiking in the Flatirons, visited a farmer’s market (twice), and listened to live music on Pearl Street. We also took a day trip to Denver and got a tour of the University of Denver’s campus and downtown Denver from my friend who attends DU.
Afternoon tea at the Boulder Dushanbe Tea house downtown.
My friend Grace and I at the lily pond on DU's campus.
July: Chicago, Illinois
Right after the fourth, I traveled to Chicago to attend Sigma Kappa’s national convention. Convention is held every 2 years, and each chapter of Sigma Kappa across the country sends delegates to represent their chapter and vote on items such as the new national council and national bylaws. Each day we got to attend special events like a Panhellenic luncheon and the Alzheimer’s Association dinner. We also attended breakout sessions to learn about ways to better our chapters.
Since we were in Chicago, we of course ventured out to Navy Pier one night to ride the Ferris wheel and get ice cream! We even got to eat Chicago-style deep dish pizza.
My friend Jessica and I on the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier.
We explored with our two roommates from Pennsylvania.
After the awards banquet at Sigma Kappa convention.
Our chapter won an honorable mention for the Ruth Rydson Miller Panhellenic Award.
After a summer that seemed to fly by with traveling and working at my summer internship, it is already time to go back to school. In just a few days I will move into my first apartment and start my junior year of school! After two great years, I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for me.