The summer I was bitten

I often feel like Belle from Beauty and the Beast because she describes herself feeling odd, out of place.  All Belle wants is to get out of her village and experience the world.  She quotes "I want adventure in the great white somewhere, I want it more than I can tell. For once it might be grand to have someone understand, I want so much more than they've got planned."  I feel similar to Belle because when I travel, the people around me say "that's cool" or "oh awesome".  Some people even tell me "It's so dangerous right now, I wouldn't want to be over there."  It's like they don't fully understand just how an amazing experience going to the Olympics is.  Or to them, it's cool, but not something they would ever imagine doing.  They don't understand why I'd want to spend so long away from home or why I want to leave the country.  Usually, where I am from, you go on vacation to Florida once a year and that is all you ever do.  I agree with Belle it makes me feel odd, too, because my dreams and hopes are different than those around me.  

My ultimate love of traveling started in summer of 2012 when I had the incredible opportunity to attend the London Olympics.  It was that summer I was bitten...by the travel bug.  That was my first trip to Europe, but not my first trip out of the country. I can't even begin to describe how I felt being in Europe for the first time other than it was breathtaking.  It was some kind of high that came over me.  It felt like I was walking in a day dream.  Seeing the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben in person for the first time is so surreal.  We've seen these iconic figures in pictures, history books, and movies.  Seeing them right in front of you is nothing I can describe. The culture, the architecture, the accents everything combined is what makes Europe so special.  I knew then and there that I needed to see more of this beautiful continent.  

I believe everyone has at least one dream or ideal trip they want to take in their lifetime.  Most people's "dream trip" is some sort of paradise such as white sands and crystal blue water with cocktails on the beach.  I wouldn't argue to having a paradise vacation but it's not my "dream" trip. It's not the place I think of when someone asks you, "where in the world would you go if you could go anywhere?" Ever since I stepped foot in Europe for the very first, time my dream has been backpacking through Europe.  Traveling from country to country sightseeing all the cities.  Cities like Rome, Venice, Amsterdam, Barcelona! So, I decided to finally book a trip!  No more waiting! I have nothing holding me back.  I am not married, no kids, I'm young and single.  And my college was out for summer break! If I am going to do this, it had to be now.  This is happening! I had no idea where to start when it came to planning a trip to Europe, let alone a six week trip.  

There's so much to see and do! After lots of research I knew I wanted a few things from this trip.  1) I didn't want to go completely alone 2) I wanted to spend as long as I could over there 3) I wanted to do as much as I could while over there. Well I found a group, that helps plan your trips.  They offer trips to Asia, Australia, Peru, Belize, Cuba, Europe, and so many more places.  I found a European trip that was about five weeks long and went to about ten different countries.  They help plan excursions with you, help plan transportation from city to city, as well as plan several iconic cities to tour.  That's it. I was set.  I saved up a couple thousand dollars for a down payment and booked my tip! This trip I will go to Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, England, and Spain.  It even has an itinerary that comes with the trip explaining in detail what all there is to do in every city.  As a student travel blogger I highly suggest doing a trip like this because it is affordable and it helps guide you as you plan your trip.  It gives you the independence of traveling with a subtle guidance.  It can be overwhelming when you don't know where to start planning.  So, starting this summer, I will be spending a total of six weeks in Europe.  I just got chills writing that sentence.  I depart June 4th so stay tuned and join me as I write about what this exciting adventure holds for me.

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