First Stop: Greece!
On 6.24.2017, my adventure of a lifetime began! After a morning of running around New York City to make sure all of my earthly possessions were either in my storage unit, in the care of a friend, or buckled into my backpack, I piled into a cab outside a friend's apartment after dropping off some unused groceries and headed to JFK!
Upon arriving at the airport, I was greeted by my classmates and two professors. Everyone else was excited for a two week adventure, and I was too, but I was the only one with a "one way" ticket. Though some of my classmates chose to use this opportunity to explore more of Europe, I was going to be living and learning in London the following school year and used this Ancient Greek Theatre class as my jumping off point for a year of adventures. As excited as I was, my tone was not the same as my travel companions - they would be back in New York, surrounded by their loved ones again, far sooner than I would. Their "goodbye"s to friends back home were not as heavy. Things change more in a year than they do in two weeks or even a month. Still, I was ready to jump in with both feet!
After an exhausting night of packing and organizing the night before, I had no problem sleeping on the plane. As a Californian who frequently flies overnight to and from college in NYC, I have an almost pavlovian instinct to pass out upon reaching cruising altitude. We landed in Athens around midday on June 25th and piled onto a bus - our first day was all but over, we were hitting the ground running! Our first historic site visit, the site of the Battle of Thermopylae, occurred mere hours after we touched down. We were all overwhelmed and exhausted, but when one of our professors, Dr. Mark Ringer, started translating the Greek on the historical plaques around us, we were captivated. A short hike later, we were back on the bus - ready for an early night of lounging by the pool, cheap wine, and our first "symposium" of the trip before we curled up in bed!