By Taylor Feehan, University of Southern Maine and Umbra Rep Fall ’19
Going to another country for a semester can be scary at first, as your life is about to be turned upside down. You will have to face time differences, cultural changes, and language barriers. Considering some of these challenges, you will face ups and downs while trying to settle into your new home.
The seed for change has officially been planted.
Traveling while abroad is not only a cheaper option than traveling from home (for most of us home is in the United States), but also more opportunistic. Here at the Umbra Institute, there are no classes on Friday, creating the perfect chance to start the exploring, which many students use to check out Italy. Students travel to beautiful and historic places like Florence, Cinque Terre, Venice, Siena, Bologna, Assisi, or Milan. They also use this time to adventure to other countries like Spain, Greece, France, Germany, Sweden, Poland, and so many more.
There are many ways to travel in Italy. The most popular, (and usually cheapest), options are usually via train and by bus. The Omio App. is a free European travel application that is used to book the most convenient way of transportation to your destination! It shows you options for busses, trains, and planes, as well as helps you find the best deals. This app also holds your tickets so that they are easy and accessible. What more could you ask for?
Over the October break, I took a ten-day vacation with a couple of good friends. We visited Paris, France, Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Athens, Greece. This much traveling can be a little stressful and relying on public transportation is a must when trying to get to your destination. Although taking plublic transportation can be horrifying, it’s actually not, as this is how most people get around on a daily basis. For us, using Google Maps was extremely helpful in this process. As you can see, Google Maps gives you multiple options to get to your destination. The most helpful was the one for the metro, which directly lists out each stop, the platform, arrival and arrival times, as well as delays.
And in case you were wondering, we ended up making it to our (Google Maps) destination!
Now that you know how to get through the technicalities of traveling, let’s get into the best parts about these never ending adventures. Traveling with friends builds connections that can never be replaced! You are able to see some of the greatest wonders that this world has to offer. Whatever your tourism activity of choice is, whether it is food, drink, art, history, going-out, or all of the above, these moments change you. They give you different perspectives of the world and you learn about the history of the different places you visit.
There is nothing wrong with traveling solo, but traveling with company can be so rewarding! Being at Umbra Institute, you have the chance to meet a completely new group of individuals. The best part about making new friends is you now have a new reason to travel some more when you get home, and some of these people may be in your life forever! After chatting with a couple of my newfound friends, I asked them to share some of their traveling memories with me. Please enjoy some of their pictures, as they explore some of the most sought-after worldwide destinations together!