Aching Feet, Open Eyes: Exploring a City on Foot

Note: Annie Morin is one of four 2016 Honors Study Abroad Scholarship recipients. All are currently studying in Europe.

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Traveling from Raleigh, North Carolina, where nothing is within walking distance, to Spain, has been quite an adjustment for my feet, but I wouldn’t want it any other way!

I am one of the happy recipients of the new Honors College Study Abroad Scholarship and I am “striding” to do everything I can during my time here in Europe, and that includes traveling as Europeans do.  It is not uncommon not to own a car, and it is more common to use public transport than it is to get into a car.

A student learns more about her surroundings on foot.  She observes more of culture, sees things close-up, and can take her time moving on to the next thing.  By walking, I empower myself to do what I want to do in Europe.

I also empower myself to get lost: one day, a friend and I decided to go to Monte de Gozo, a small hill just outside the city of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, to see the famous cathedral as the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago do for the first time.  We successfully made our way to the top after an hour or so of walking and taking in the sights and sounds of Santiago.  When it was time to go back, we decided to take a different route, which ended up going through a small town and underneath a highway.  It wasn’t the day we expected and our feet ached after, but it has been one of my favorite days here in Spain!

To future Honors study abroad students: go at your own pace and immerse yourself in the culture as much as possible!  The best experiences you have will be completely unexpected, but your favorite stories to tell when you get home!  ¡Buen viaje!

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