Sailing on the Mediterranean
Posted by Andy Steves in on October 14, 2010.
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.
The trip to Budapest was amazing! I did not know what to expect from Budapest because my roommate just told me to go with her so I was up for anything, but it ended up being one of my favorite trips so far of my study abroad experience. The hostel we stayed at gave us an excellent taste of the Budapest night life while Bogi took us to places that I definitely would not have been able to get to on my own or had known about if not for her WSA tour. It was a great weekend and I highly recommend it.Mary Reagan, Saint Louis University ~ St. Louis University, Madrid, Spring 2015
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