Welcome to the summer 2016 LeadAbroad blog! We are so excited to feature students on all of our programs from Cape Town to Greece, Rome to Barcelona. We will be sharing their experiences, perspectives and advice as we progress through this summer.
Today we hear from Parker Esoda on DIRECT Greece! Parker attends the University of South Carolina and decided to leave the comfort of Columbia to discover Grecian treasures.
Hear from her below:
Throughout my life I have typically avoided taking risks; I liked familiarity. I stuck with familiar food, familiar people, familiar places. However, the older I became the more I took risks, eating strange food, meeting strange people, travelling to stange places. I began to say, “Yes!”
Earlier this year, Pierce Persons came to speak at my sorority’s chapter about the LeadAbroad programs. I had heard this talk the year before, and had felt the same yearning to go on the trip, but this year I decided to say yes. I met with Pierce a couple days later to discuss the different options and within the week I decided that I wanted to go on DIRECT Greece. Early on I realized that I did not know anyone going on the trip, and none of my friends were able to come with me. In spite of the fear of traveling with complete strangers, I went with my gut and continued through the process of getting ready to go on this program.
Now, here I am in my apartment, looking outside the window at the streets in Athens, Greece. We are in the middle of our second day here in Greece and hit has been a dream. Yesterday we spent the day touring the city with our incredible tour guide, Nikos, taking in the breathtaking views from the top of the Acropolis, the magnitude of the Parthenon, and the beautiful and unique culture all around us. I came on this trip not knowing a single person, and have met some of the most amazing and wonderful people. My roommates are awesome, and we just spent the day – and our money – together, enjoying Plaka and a delicious, relaxing lunch. I have loved getting to know these new friends, getting out of my comfort zone, and taking risks left and right. I am giddy to think of how much is still in store for me on this trip, how much more I will get to know new people, and how many adventures I will get to take! All I need to do is just say YES!