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Group Dynamics Within Travel

It is no secret that people can make or break a place. No matter if you are in the most beautiful city you’ve ever seen, if you don’t enjoy your travel companions, it won’t be the wonderful experience you want it to be. Traveling brings out the best and the worst part of people’s personalities like no other. So, choose your travel buddies wisely. Naturally, taking a trip to an unfamiliar place gives rise to leadership. Beforehand, planning has to get done. It is unwise to enter into a new country or even city without any prior knowledge of what there is to do and how to get around. The more … [Read more...]

The Complete Picture of Adventure

Adventure. We all seek it in our own ways. For some it looks like roughing it in a tent for a weekend, for some sky-diving, and for some trying mysterious foods. Basically, anything involving both adrenaline and the outdoors falls into this category automatically. Adventure is a really attractive concept. Without it, wouldn’t life be pretty bland? The less shiny side of the coin, however, are the mishaps that come with the territory of adventure. The night spent sleeping on the airport floor in Dublin (personal experience) might not have been ideal at the time, but it is a night I’ll never … [Read more...]

Paris Express: What to See in a Short Trip

Without a doubt, Paris was our most ambitious trip to date. We went with a group of seven who wanted to see a variety of different things, and instead of compromising, we thought, “Why not do them all?” which is (almost) exactly what we did. Our days were spent on the go, dashing from one site to the next, hitting every tourist attraction except for Moulin Rouge, the Catacombs, and the Sacred Heart, walking in total around 45/50 miles over the course of three days. So, take it from me, when you’re planning a short trip to Paris, you must pick and choose; and, because I didn’t do this, below … [Read more...]

Brugge: A Quintessential Dream

If Brussels was not what I was expecting, Brugge was everything that I was in the best way possible. Our second stop in Belgium, we arrived on a Saturday morning, the sun just peeking through the clouds as we made our way to the Air Bnb. Once we had our things settled in, we took off on the town to explore. A walk through the town boasted canals and corridors, cathedrals and cobblestones lining every side of the street. The many city squares we saw displayed classic architecture and colorful flowers, doors and windows giving each building its own individual personality. Every corner … [Read more...]

Cologne: Nice to Smell, Better to Visit

I took German classes for five years, so to say I was excited about finally getting to go to Cologne (Germany’s fourth largest city) for a day is an understatement. I was stoked to get to witness the greatness of the Cologne Cathedral I had seen so many PowerPoint slides of, walk on the “Love Lock Bridge”, and test out my rusty German skills. The train ride was only 2.5 hours, making a day trip viable. As soon as I stepped out of the train station upon arrival, I was floored by the behemoth structure that is the Kölner Dom. I knew it was near the train station, but I did not expect to be … [Read more...]

Hurricane Harvey and Unexpected Friends: Creating Friendships While Facing Adversity

Texas is known for quite a few things – cowboys, horses, barbecue, accents, and an endless sky, to name a few. But, ask any native Texan, and they will tell you the top two factors that describe Texas are its friendly atmosphere and its ever-changing, unpredictable weather. So, when a group of us students started preparing for our flight out of Houston with Millennium Tours to get to The Netherlands, it was no surprise to hear of a potential hurricane. The surprise came once we escaped the hurricane. Our group of 18 had all planned on meeting in one of Texas’s largest cities to fly out on … [Read more...]

Destination Spotlight: Dover, Kent, England

Dover, Kent, England. In my entire life, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to travel to Dover.  But there I was, early one Thursday morning, packing to travel across the English Channel to visit the famous town. After class, my best friend and I made our way to Maastricht station, in order to board a train to Brussels, where we’d be taking the Chunnel under the English Channel. I had coffee in my system and food in my tummy, I was set. The train ride to Brussels went flawlessly, it was as easy as all our other train rides and we made it with enough time to get through … [Read more...]

Group Tours to Europe: The Sounds of Salzburg

Beautiful sights and sounds filled my weekend and took my breath away. My student group travel adventures sent me to Salzburg, Austria. This gorgeous city is historically known for raising Mozart and Maria Von Trapp, and the "Sound of Music" story, among other things. Due to severe storms in Germany, our trip was cut short, but that didn't keep us from crossing a couple things off our bucket list first. After traveling 11 hours on Friday, our European group travel crew made it to Salzburg famished and slightly delirious. We checked into our hostel and began wandering the city to … [Read more...]

Group Tours to Europe: Get Cultured

 image source: wikimedia commons After two weeks of constant student group travel, the thought of having classes begin this week sounded slightly heavenly. That sleep-deprived thought was quickly put to rest as “student” duties unfortunately overtook my mind. This semester, I am taking Dutch Art History, History from 1500 to Present, Political Science, and an independent study course for anthropology. Last week, my Dutch Art History course held class at the Basilica of Saint Servatius in Maastricht. At the cathedral, we learned some of the differences between Gothic and Romanesque … [Read more...]

Group Travel: Europe Through the Back Door

  The city of Florence is a tourist’s dream. Cafés spill out into the cobblestone streets, and the Arno River cuts through the heart of the city. Tuscan hills dotted with vineyards line the horizon. Florence means colors, culture, and those cream-colored Italian stucco buildings with the orange-tiled roofs. It’s picturesque, famous, and idyllic, and because of that, you get to enjoy the relatively small Italian city with 50,000 other tourists. I'm quickly figuring out that the real gems of this continent are not where the crowds are. The best cities, restaurants, and activities are … [Read more...]

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