Saturday, June 25, 2011

Starting My Trip to Europe and Asia

            I am taking a trip.  So far in my life I have cultivated opportunities to go places I have not been to various levels of success.  I went to Atlanta, Chicago, and Toronto with the Model United Nations in Undergrad.  I studied abroad in Beijing and Shanghai just after my graduation.  And now, some 4 years and a couple months after my last big trip, I will be taking my own little (2 month) trip to Europe.

            Tomorrow I will leave from Tampa, Florida on my way to London, England.  I'll only be there for about 22 hours, but in that time I hope to see the Tower of London and a couple other palaces/sights of interest.  Sadly my timing caused me to miss out on the bigger Stonehenge, Oxford, and Jack the Ripper tour I had been hoping for.  But I am quite happy with this.

Going here.
             Leaving London I will head to Istanbul, Turkey.  This area will take up the meatiest portion of my trip, being a 6 week study abroad venture which will hit the numerous hot spots in the city along with a few excursions out into the country.  This was the event around which I planned all the other bits of my trip.  I was committed to going as soon as I saw the Prof's power point for it in a class one day and realized that the length of the trip and the credits I would receive were greater than the trip to China I had taken after undergrad, and they were the same price.  I will also have a few free weekends that I will have to work out some plans for.  Maybe I can visit the Black Sea beach and wear a Speedo un-ironically.

And here.
             When I finally leave Istanbul I will head to Athens, Greece.  Hopefully two months from now the unrest over there will calm down because I want to see the birthplace of democracy, philosophy, and western civilization as we know it.  I will spend 10 days there as part of a tour package which will include various islands around the capital.

And here.
             After Athens I will head back to London but only long enough to drop off some luggage and take a bit of sleep so I can head to the tube and go to Paris, France.  I'll be there for about a day seeing the tourist centric locations of the Arch De Triumph and the Eifel Tower (I keep having this day dream play out in my head that I will get there and both of the French national treasures will be vastly smaller than what I pictured and when I say, "I always pictured it would be a bit bigger" a French guy behind me will call me, "Americans, size queens everyone of them" and being that I don't speak French I will just ignore the insult).

And I guess it does look pretty big.  So yeah, here too.

            From there I will bounce back to London and then to home.  Then I'll have a week of sitting around begging for money from loan agencies and then it will be back to college in Tallahassee to work my butt off trying to earn my duel Masters in International Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning.  This seems like a good course of events.

            Last month and part of this month I tried hard to produce a blog each day, and in doing so train myself to make very regular updates in hopes of chronicling my trip to the internet with my reflections.  So at the end of my trip when they ask for an 8-10 page reflection on the trip for my grades in the class (or however much they decide to request), I can hand them my blog url and say that I bested the request by about 10,000 words, many times 10,000 if you count pictures for the 1,000 words a piece that is common adage.  So my tertiary goal to 'Studying' 'Enjoy Myself', will be to (for the first time) use my blog to professionally benefit myself.  Wish me luck.

            If you liked my rambling, please click the Google "+1" button in the comments section, post the link on your facebook, or send people over from anywhere else you might social network.

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