Inside an Impromptu trip to Europe

      I remember being a little girl staring at the world maps on my wall. Colorful pins dotted the pastel continents with seemingly no rhyme or reason, but to me, every pin symbolized a plan. I knew from the time I was in elementary school that someday, I was going to travel. I was going to visit every single pastel country on my map.

      This break, I began realizing my dream. It didn’t happen the way I may have once expected it to, with seamless travel plans and glamorous photos, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

      At the beginning of January, I had the opportunity to go to Europe with one of my closest friends and fellow Eastern student, Kay O’Keeffe. We spent five days becoming familiar with the sprawling streets of Paris, three days experiencing Dublin and one day learning about German castles. It took a lot of strategic scrimping and just a touch of crazy, but somehow, two broke college students managed to spend ten days travelling Europe.

      In Paris, we saw the Eifel Tower and Louvre like everyone told us to, but I liked Saint-Chappelle the most. Saint-Chappelle is a church built in 1288 that served as a home for French kings until the 14th century. Though the whole building is incredible, the upper floor is absolutely breathtaking. Every wall in it is lined with intricate stained glass, every panel hand-made and preserved for centuries. The patterns are full of vibrant color and recognizable Bible scenes. It was by far the most beautiful man-made thing I have ever seen.

      Despite the wonder of Paris, Dublin was my favorite place we visited. Within the hour we arrived, I already knew I wanted to live there someday. The city was teeming with life as old buildings watched people go about their daily lives. Dublin has all of the appeal of a big city, with charms similar to my small hometown. The people were so kind and welcoming and were genuinely excited to have us in their city. Everybody we met was proud of their home and wanted to share as much of it as possible with us.

      This break was incredible because it defied all my expectations. I never imagined I’d travel the world with someone I met only three months prior, but I did and I loved it. Visiting three different countries in 10 days was a hectic, magical whirlwind that I am forever grateful for.

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