I know its been a while since I last blogged, so I thought this would be a great time to share with all of you what I’ve been up to!
So, I actually just got back from my long study tour. For those of you who do not know, a long study tour is essentially when your core class goes on a week trip to a different county, and during this week you will have both an academic and cultural experience. This opportunity is absolutely worth it simply because you not only get to experience the culture, but you also get to integrate with the locals!
I am personally in the Positive Psychology core course, and we got the opportunity to go to Athens, Greece for the week! This experience was very eye opening, and we engaged in a lot of activities that really heightened my sense of happiness. We had a few seminars that were more academic based, and it was very interesting to be studying in a new culture! I enjoyed this part of the trip! But my favorite parts of the trip were when I was out on the streets of Athens, exploring. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below!
As a class, we went to a Buddhist Temple, the Acropolis, a food market, a National Garden, the beach to watch the sunset, the Temple of Zeus, an island in Aegina, a beautiful church as well where I lit a candle for everyone I love, and we even learned how to dance in Greece 🙂 I have to say, my absolute favorite parts of this trip included watching the sunrises and sunsets, going to the Buddhist Temple, and going to the Island!
First Ill start off my explaining the sunrises and sunsets, and why I loved them so much. It is very easy to get caught up in this life, without taking the time to appreciate the small things. Being able to just sit down, and soak in all of the beauty that this culture had to offer was very touching. This world is so beautiful, and it is easy to miss if you are not aware. Truly taking the time to be present, and enjoying where you are is so important. So that is what I did on this trip and since I have been in Europe, and it has been life changing for me 🙂
My second favorite part, like I said, was going to the Buddhist Temple. I was very surprised by this visit simply because I have known nothing about Buddhism up until this point in my life. Essentially, Buddhism is the belief that suffering will always have a place in this world; however, one can experience liberation from it by cultivating mental skills, such as wisdom, concentration, and virtue.
I enjoyed learning about this, because I realized just how accurate it is to say that suffering is an inherent part of life, but its what we do with it that can help us grow as human beings. I mean, its obvious people would rather not suffer in general, but at the same time, when I look back on my life, the suffering that I have experienced has molded me into the person I am today, and I am proud of that person. You can still love fiercely, and have a passionate soul, while being accepting, forgiving, and secure which was the main thing I took away from this activity!
The third thing I absolutely loved was the day we went to the Island. We took a boat over to Aegina, which is a well-known island in Greece, and explored it for the day. We got to go swimming in the ocean, and relax under the sun. I remember being in the water and thinking to myself, “Wow…this is what you see in movies”. I was in the ocean looking at the mountainside where a lot of locals lived, and it was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.
In addition to swimming, we also had a nature mindfulness exercise as well. During this time, we were told to sit by the water, and listen to the sounds, touch our surroundings, and really be present. I really loved this because I personally feel that I am very connected to nature, and it was very calming for me. It was peaceful!
Overall, I had the time of my life on this trip. Traveling has its ups and downs, but it also creates some of the best memories, and I will be holding on to these memories for the rest of my life!
That’s it for now, thanks for reading!
Until Next Time 🙂