Monday May 14, 2018
Today’s the big day! I leave for Newark airport in t-minus five hours. After that, Athens is only a short nine hour plane ride away…
Most of my day has been spent doing some very last minute packing, but that’s what happens when you leave for a different country only a few days after finals. I am a chronic over thinker, and likely over packer, but what if I need that sixth sundress or third backpack? If I’m fined for an overweight suitcase it’s my own fault. Clearly I am what you would call a travel novice. If anyone would even call someone that.
Surprisingly, it still has not sunk in that soon I’ll be in Greece. Don’t get me wrong, it feels more real than it did when I was in the midst of cramming – I mean studying – for finals. There are just so many steps in between me and Greece though, including airport security and thousands of miles.
The fact that I’m going on this two week long trip to Greece feels like a dream come true. Reading and rereading the itinerary has been making me even more excited. Oh, I should probably describe the course here rather than keeping you in the dark and anxiously waiting, as I’m sure you must be.
So, the course is called Lifestyles of the Mediterranean and is offered through the Department of Kinesiology and Health at Rutgers. The purpose is to explore and learn about the diet, habits, and culture of Greece and the Mediterranean and how they support good health and well being. For the first week we’ll be staying in Athens at City Circus hostel, and during the second week we’ll be in Nafplio at Hotel Agamemnon. Our itinerary is packed full of cooking lessons, visits to ancient sites, hikes, swimming in the Mediterranean, and more. As a Nutrition major, Italian-American, foodie, and history geek this course could not be more interesting to me!
I’ve met a few students who will be going on the trip at the pre-departure meeting. Ever since then we’ve been exchanging ideas for activities and restaurants in Athens, as well as excited messages with gratuitous emojis and exclamation points. I can’t wait to meet up with the whole group at the airport and then later at our welcome dinner.
Wish me luck during this flight. The next time you hear from me I’ll be in Athens!