When I have gotten the acceptance letter from Athena Study Abroad, my heart and mind was racing fast. I felt so happy, I could not think of anything else that could make me any happier. I was wrong. I have not traveled much for the purpose of adventure, only for work, moving homes, or visiting family. I have traveled many times and not once, I have felt so relieved, carefree and so much self love. I was given the opportunity to expand my understanding of myself and others by being abroad. It forced me to be out of my comfort zone and become more independent. I am always excited to learn new cultures and meet new people so that I could understand how beautiful the world can be, and this trip intensified that. I also traveled all over Asia and have not been to Europe. Culturally and emotionally, this was a life changing experience. This was a great opportunity for me to explore other cultures than those of my own.
In addition, I also learned the ways and values of other cultures. For example, most Greek people was extremely welcoming and caring for my friends and I abroad. They taught us the language, showed how to get home and to other places, and ALWAYS treat us with such great hospitality. Before then, I only thought only family treat each other this lovingly. I guess family was the right word being in Greece.
The people was the best thing, but the place is most definitely second best. I get to travel and witness so many beautiful animals, florals, and lands. The places is so captivating, I have forgotten to take pictures! luckily, I have wonderful instructors and friends who did that for me.
I am also an Art major and my style of art can be enhanced by Greek's art tremendously. Being in a place where Art is Prominent will make me learn and understand more of my strength and weaknesses. I became more open minded in my artwork due to this trip. Being on Paros Island gave me the opportunity to become more creative and innovative in the way I interpret my Artwork. I feel that walking 20 miles is better than reading 20 books, for being in Greece made me learn more and experience more than I did in my hometown. Especially the instructors, when I came to class, I was greeted and treated with such great care and value. Once, I asked my instructor for help on an artwork and she not only taught me how to fix it, but she held my hand that was holding the brush and physically showed me the technique! I was so shocked and overwhelmed by the amount of understanding and care. Those teachers only come once in a lifetime and I felt extremely lucky. Also, I was excited and happy that I get to meet new friends from around the world who are studying the same classes as me. I get to hear about their life their stories and their love. We got to know each other and it felt like I was their friends since birth. It was amazing how we value same ideas yet are not afraid to share our own ideas and become inspired by one another. We cook and ate together most times, travel, and studied together. A place where everyone was my best friend and I was theirs.
By the end of this trip, I could thoroughly say that I have learned more, lived more, and felt more passionate. I wanted to let upcoming and undecided travelers know that this is not something to be missing out. We might leave behind the things we like, but we pick up the things we value. Your heart will change and your mind will bloom. The only time you should feel unsure is when you leave Greece, not enter. Be excited, be hopeful, and be active!