Sailing on the Mediterranean

Oct. 6

In my travel workshops that I’ve given over the last couple years, a consistent theme of my tips are seek out what you enjoy doing back at home here in Europe. Pursuing your own passion allows you to bridge cultural gaps through sharing what excites you with someone of a completely different background. In those situations, it is far more likely you’ll find one more person to call your friend on this planet. So that’s what I did on my last night in Barcelona with a sailing lesson as the sunset over the mountains behind Barcelona.

I signed up online after seeing a flyer at the TI office. Seeing as they only run weekends and Wednesday evening, I figured Wednesday would be fairly busy. Funny thing is though, that no one else had signed up so it was just the instructor, Mauru and myself. Mauru is a smiley 27 year old who like many others I’ve met seems to be trying to find himself. His English was poor at best, but we had two solid hours of laughs out on the water trying to cut through the language barrier. A few years ago he graduated from a master’s program in sports business. He then went to Ibiza for 2 years where he lifeguarded, and met his girlfriend but it sounded as if he burned out after a single year. In a place like Ibiza, I’m surprised anyone can last 2 weeks.

While not the most driven person out there, hanging out with Mauru for a couple hours gave me a glimpse into a slower pace of life. I’ve seen it before in the demeanor of my Polish skipper on a sailing trip in the Greek islands a few years back. While I’m hurrying back and forth between meeting and research, I need to remind myself on occasion, to slow down, take it easy and pull in a deep breath. That’s what my sailing trip did for me, and I invite you to do something like it that matches your hobbies that you would do back in your home town. 


Alex Dornacker, Central College

Happy Backpackers

I had a blast visiting Prague for the first time with WSA. To start, the hostel that WSA booked for the tour was incredible. The entire staff was very helpful, the rooms were nice, and there was a really cool bar downstairs with live music every night. Our tour guide was top notch as well. He was really fun and flexible with whatever our group wanted to do while making sure we saw all of the major sights, good places to eat, as well as the night life! I thought this trip was much easier to book through WSA rather than figure it all out myself and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get the most out of their trip!

Alex Dornacker, Central College ~ Center of Modern Languages, Granada,, Fall 2015

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