The University of Iowa

Authored by Lauren Bannon


Why everyone should travel solo at least once...

I remember the first time I decided to do something solo abroad… I wanted to see the Lion King Musical when I was in London. No one else in my program was interested, so I went alone. My mom was so proud of how independent I was that she told everyone for weeks after about how I went to The Lion King alone, which actually makes me sound much more lame than independent, but from then on I’ve gotten a thrill out of solo travel and experiences. Now, before you assume I’m anti-social, I love traveling with others. I spent 12 straight days with a group of awesome girls from my program in Thessaloniki, but there’s something solo travel gives you that you can’t get with anyone else.

One month in... the do's and don't's

As of March 1st, I have been in Thessaloniki, Greece, for one month. The time has flown by and I couldn't be happier with my new home. The people, the city, and the cuisine surprise me every single day. My classes are interesting and in full swing. I live a five minute walk from the sea. Can I repeat – I LIVE BY THE SEA. For a girl that has spent her whole life in Iowa with the Cedar and Iowa Rivers being the most exciting bodies of water nearby, to say that I live by the sea is a thrill in itself.

Study abroad eve

Three months ago to this exact date was the day I accepted to spend the spring semester in Thessaloniki, Greece. After sending the acceptance e-mail, I remember calling my mom, my boyfriend, my friends – anyone who would listen – and then wondering how in the world I could ever wait three months to leave for Greece.