Spring break abroad is very different from the spring break to which most students in the United States are accustomed. When I began asking students at JCU what their plans were for spring break, the responses included trips to places such as France, Spain, Dubai, and Israel.
I chose to travel to Portugal and Spain with my sister Melissa. When we arrived in Lisbon, Portugal and began exploring, I was amazed by the completely different language, architecture, and culture that I was able to find only a quick plane ride away from Italy.
The two of us barreled around Lisbon meeting locals, visiting beaches, and of course eating fabulous meals. We booked our apartment through Air B&B and had a wonderful experience. The owner, Stella, greeted us by showing us around the apartment and leaving wine and homemade jam her mother makes to enjoy-the hospitality was unreal. Lisbon is the most underrated city I have ever visited. The people are friendly, the food is good, the city is beautiful, and the weather is warm.
The second stop on our trip was to Seville, Spain. Waking up only an hour and twenty minutes before our flight, we dashed out of the apartment and raced to the airport. Somehow making it on time, we hopped on the bus that would take us to our plane. To our surprise, the plane had only nine rows and a total of eighteen passengers. It was definitely the smallest plane I had ever been on. Once we arrived in Seville, we took a carriage ride around the city and laughed at the millions of photos we had taken that of course all wound up being slightly crooked. Unfortunately, that night we wound up getting food poisoning. Despite that minor setback, we tossed back some 7up and went on to enjoy the trip.
The following day, we went to Madrid. Madrid is an absolutely incredible city. The first day we were there we went to visit Mercado de San Miguel (a fabulous market with food and drinks) where we met a crew of British travelers. We all laughed hysterically at the absurd comments flying out of their mouths and toasted champagne to meeting new people. The following day we discovered the hot water was not working in our apartment. Theresa, the lady we were renting the apartment from, raced over to fix the problem with a bottle of wine in hand to apologize for the inconvenience. Once again, Air B&B was absolutely killing it. The rest of our time there, we took recommendations from a friend we had made in Portugal who once lived in Madrid. We now like to refer to him as our guardian angel because every place he recommended was fabulous. We ended our last day on a rooftop terrace overlooking the city and drinking delicious sangria.
When I arrived back in Rome, I split a taxi with a woman from Lebanon who I met on the airplane. After chatting with her and making it home I sat down in my apartment and reflected on the week I had just spent traveling with my sister. I thought if that is the kind of spring break going to college abroad can offer, I do not ever want to graduate.
JCU Class of 2015
Home State: California