by Rachel Philiph
Travel is on my mind lately. With spring break quickly approaching, I’m trying to come up with fun (and hopefully warm) locations to visit. While I’m trying to come up with a new place to go, I keep reflecting back on all the cool places I’ve been able to visit in my time at Iowa State.
One of my first college traveling experiences was studying abroad in London. I attended Brunel University during the summer after my freshman year at Iowa State. One of the cool things about the program was that I could arrange my own travel plans. This meant that for the two weeks before classes started, I could backpack around Scotland and Ireland, and after classes finished, I could meet my parents in Switzerland. I had been abroad many times before that experience, but that was the first time I was really traveling on my own. It was a great opportunity to become very independent and gain some street smarts.
Last summer, I got to travel to Boston for a Research Experiences for Undergraduates program at MIT. The research and the school were great, but one of the most enjoyable parts of the summer was living in Boston. Since Boston has so many colleges, the city kind of felt like one giant college town. The population was very young and active. There were all kinds of cool restaurants and museums. There were also great trails all over the city to run or bike on. I had such a great time living in the city, and I often find myself daydreaming about going back.
Another place I got to visit during college was New Orleans. My trip to New Orleans was with the Honors Program to attend the National Collegiate Honors Council Annual Conference. I had no idea what to expect before going, but I ended up loving New Orleans. It was such a unique city with a very rich history. I really enjoyed the conference, but I also really enjoyed walking through the French Quarter, visiting old perfume shops, vintage shops, and art galleries.
Wherever I end up going for spring break, I hope it lives up to the other travel experiences I’ve had in college. Although Ames is great, there are many opportunities to get out of Iowa and experience some other cultures.