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Greece Travel Journal

Hi Fashion Dolls, it's been a while. I hope everyone has been having a fabulous summer! I've been studying abroad in Greece for two weeks with my girl, Embry (@embryhollowell). We've been going on the adventures of a lifetime, and meeting some of the best friends we'll ever have. I know I'll want to remember all these memories forever, and I want to give the study abroad company a HUGE shoutout, so what better way than to write about it here?



What is Lead Abroad?

Embry and I got the amazing opportunity to go to Greece for two weeks through a company called Lead Abroad! Lead Abroad is a company that gives college kids the opportunity to experience travel during their young years with their key goal being: that they're going to help each student learn how to find theirselves. The best part is that you'll meet other college kids from all over the country with the same love of travel that enticed you to try Lead Abroad!

I heard about Lead Abroad through two of my closest friends, Anne and Pryor, who had gone on the two week Lead Abroad trip to Greece the summer before me! Embry and I heard about all the exciting adventures they went on, and we knew we had to jump at the opportunity too.

While I was in Greece I did some major exploring (mentally and physically). I did everything from wine tasting to bunjey jumping -- I even ended up in the emergency room at one point!


Make sure you're following @leadabroad on TikTok, Instagram, and all other forms of social media!


 

Day 1: Many, Many Mountains

We started our two-week long journey in Athens, Greece. Our very first day we got to hike on Mt. Accropolis and see the parthenon where we got to take in the beautiful views of Athens. We then walked around a quaint little neighborhood called Plaka where we walked through art galleries and tasted amazing gelato. Our tour guide even played piano for us in one of the art galleries.

The rest of the day consisted of walking around plaka feasting on the most amazing food and taking a jet-lag nap before dinner. Dinner was fab!! We hiked up Mt. Lycabettus where Church St. George is located, and wined and dined until the sun went down. That night we hit our first Greek club and boy was it exciting! Then it was off to bed.


View the restaurant website here: https://www.lycabettushill.com/the-restaurant/



Day 2: A day of service and servings

Our first day of class! We had a guest speaker, Amanda Printz Whooley, in the morning, a service project helping out the homeless community in Greece through a non-profit organization named, Emfasis. Amanda, a.k.a Printz, is a former Philosophy professor at Oglethorpe University. That night, we had a welcome dinner where we tried fried feta -- which is easily one of the best things I have ever eaten.



Read about our guest speaker here: https://oglethorpe.edu/faculty/amandaprintzwhooley/

Read about the Non-Profit organization: https://www.emfasisfoundation.org/en/



Day 3: Conquering fears

Wow what a day. I jumped off a bridge. We drove out to Corinth, and we got the chance to bunjey jump into the Corinth Canal! I went second out of my group, and it was incredible. The water in the canal is some of the bluest water I've ever seen, and the experience was truly amazing. After we bunjey jumped we hiked to the top of a mountain where we got to see the Temple of Athena and the most beautiful view of Greece. To celebrate such an amazing day, my new friends and I had dinner together, rooftop drinks, and a night at the club!


Book your bunjey jump here: https://zulubungy.com/


Day 4: My Kinda Lake Day

Day 4 was absolutely my favorite day ever! We had class until 11am and the rest of the day was up to us! My girl friends and I all drove out to Lake Vouiliagemeni. Lake Vouiliagemeni is truly one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. It's a natural lake with a small beach club around it. The water was so clear, and very cold, but the mountains were stunning. We ate lunch all together while sitting at our cabanna by the water. I had a club sandwich, sweet potato fries, and peach tea. YUM! As I was walking down the steps into the lake, I noticed some small fish, but these weren't plain minos, these were flesh eating fish that give you a pedicure! A lot of people may think that's gross, but honestly it was a bucket list item of mine, and it was a fun experience. My friends and I spent the rest of the day relaxing by the water and appreciating the scenery.




Day 5: Chaos

A ferry ride to Santorini. If you've ever been on a large ferry, you know the chaos. Our first week in Greece was ending, and it was time to take a trip to Santorini island. I've never been on a cruise, or a ferry big enough to hold over fifty people so this whole experience was new for me. As we all walked onto the ferry we were instructed to throw our luggage into a large pile that didn't seem to have any organization or system to it. Imagine our surprise. We did as we were told, mainly because there were lots of men shouting at us in another language, and we headed to our seats. Most ferrys this size have rows of seats that look almost exactly like the inside of an airplane, but LeadAbroad splurged on us, and we got to sit in BUSINESS CLASS. It looked a lot like a coffee shop. We were all sitting in regular chairs surrounding circular tables and we had lattes and fruit. After an 8 hour ride, we were all terrified to see if we'd get our luggage back or not. imagine hundreds of people trying to find their luggage and get off the boat before it departs again. Chaos. As I'm looking for my luggage and also trying to elbow through a mass of people, I finally just shouted "HAS ANYONE SEEN A SILVER, ALUMINUM SUITCASE?" the person across from me pointed at the floor and questioned, "this one?" It was thrown into the middle of the crowd and I just happened to be standing right in front of it. I grabbed it and ran off the boat to find my friends. This isn't even the crazy part of the story.

We all get settled into our hotel and my whole friend group meets each other out at dinner where we had appetizers, cocktails, wine, entrees, desserts, we learned about history from our waitors, it was a faboulus meal. Our waitor explained to us that the restaurant was placed ontop of a natural cave, that was over 400 years old, that they used as a wine cellar. They even do wine tastings and tours of the caves. Obviously we booked one.

We go out to some different clubs for about two hours and decide we're going to call it an early night around 11:30 PM. We all get back to the hotel. The neat thing about our hotel is all the hallways were outdoors, and sections of the hotel were separated by gates that were usually open, but tonight one of them was locked. My friends were on the other side of the gate, and so I decided to hop over it, when my foot got caught and I face-planted on the cobblestone! I broke a front tooth in half, broke my nose, and had to get stitches in my cupids bow!

Now I've never been to the emergency room, or had to get stitches, or broken a bone. Nothing. But of course, I had to do it all in a foreign country! Now don't worry, I'm totally fine, but I was pretty banged up. All my friends did a great job taking care of me and making sure I had what I needed, but day 6 I stayed home and slept while the rest of the program went to the hot springs, which turned out to be "luke warm springs".


Read and book a wine tasting at the restaurant: https://www.pelicankipos.com/


Day 7: Rainy Beaches

Day 7 we started out with a super meaningful class in the morning and we traveled to the black sand beaches! The beaches were beautiful, but it was a rainy day so it was chilly. After we came back we ate delicious sushi for dinner!!


Wine & Dine at the Sushi Restaurant: https://aestassantorini.gr/


Day 8: A Mamma Mia Birthday

Day 8 was awesome. It was Paris' birthday. I met Paris on the LeadAbroad trip, and she is actually so cool! You all have got to follow her on Instagram @pariskanicka. We went to a special birthday brunch at La Scala, where we had crepes and mimosas. I went shopping with Embry and my new friend Addison and bought some gifts for people at home. We then went to Oia (a neighborhood in Santorini), and I got to wear the most adorable dress that Koch sent me for some pre-content capturing before I started my summer internship with them! If you're ever in Oia make sure you check out The Boozery for a fun time with great cocktails.



Day 9: Best Day Ever

Day 9 was so the best day ever. We spent all day on a catamaran around the medditeranean sea! We layed out, swam in the ocean, had an amazing lunch, danced to great music, and they even served free wine, but since I was on antibiotics I couldn't have any wine :(

After the sail boat, we all went back to the pool at our hotel to continue the fun! Then we all headed out for our last night out together! We headed out to dinner, gelato, and the clubs and stayed out until we couldn't party anymore! I left one day before everyone else to go ahead and get some work done on my stitches and my teeth in the U.S., but I didn't miss too much in the last 24 hours. The last day consisted of a free morning, and a farewell dinner. Not to mention the day after they had to be awake at 3am!




Honestly, the LeadAbroad trip was the best trip of my entire life, not only because of the activities we did, but because of the friendships I made, the confidence I gained, the culture I experienced, and so much more. Despite my injuries, I stayed and lived out this opportunity to the fullest I could! I won't spoil it if you decide to go, but some of the most meaningful lessons I learned were in our classes. This study abroad has taught me so much about myself, relationships (new and old), and how taking risks are worth it! It's not always better safe than sorry (sorry mom!). If you ever get an opportunity to go out and study in another place, take it. No matter what!


Make sure you're following all of our social media accounts so you can stay updated with the fun!!

FP Instagram: @feminine.punk

Clay's Instagram: @mclayblanchard


XO, Clay

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