Finally getting the ball rolling, my name is Kathryn Bishop (Kat) and I am a sophomore International Studies and Photography major this year. As of now I am a student at the American College of Greece exchange program. Long story short I’m living in Athens this quarter and diving into the Greek culture headfirst!
I’ve officially completed my first week of hectic study abroadness (there will be a lot of ‘wordsmithing’ involved in excursions) and all that is entailed with international travel. I must say the airport is a solid give and take through the entire process. Yes, you get to fly to an incredible place and have an adventure all your own but on the other hand… lets just throw you in a line of people who have no idea what’s going on but wouldn’t dare ask the person right in front of them in the fear that the Canadian family isn’t as well tempered as we think… Past that, after dad snuck a few goodbye photos of me turning into the security line, I headed off.
One Chaco in front of the other, naturally.
Arriving is one thing but feeling like I’m here to stay is still sinking in. ‘Welcome to Europe and now you must fend for yourself’ is the initial thought I had. Luckily, as soon as I walked into the Aghia Paraskevi neighborhood I knew I was in a place that would break in like a new pair of shoes… the more I walk around and explore the less initial blisters and hesitation I’ll feel.
The first few days of moving in and orienting myself to the neighborhood and campus were a buzz of overwhelming hours met with impromptu naps that lasted two hours longer than intended… but as soon as I wake up I’ve been greeted with friendly faces and many Greek conversations I can’t decipher. I know it’ll take some time to get used to the operations and new environment, especially with my lovely Seattle friends fleeing back to the city we all hold so dear. No matter how much I love Seattle and the joy it brings me, I know it’s my time to be entirely here and to fulfill my travel bug that inevitably sneaks up on me! As of now the tingles of wanting to travel to every surrounding country and list of endless Greek traditions to take part of are growing. Most importantly, as my grandfather told me on my way to Seattle and now here in Athens, “focus on those three things, grades, relationships, and (as I’m sure will be impossible surrounded by these Grecian feasts) weight.” Thanks for all who gave me words of wisdom. Now I just need to roll with the punches and eat lots of souvlaki!
Cheers and yiasou!