Tale 1: Charlie Carr and the Salad
This was the night everything went downhill for Charlie Carr. Before I begin, I want to say that all the salads in Italy were awful - I promise the salad is relevant in the story.
As starving 17 year old boys that had been traveling all day, anything sounded good to eat. When the waiter brought us our salads, which consisted of lettuce, water, and salt - not an appetizing combination, we ate it so fast we did care about how horrid it tasted.
That night everything changed for Charlie. It started with an innocent cough; however, the cough evolved into a 10 day illness that had him sounding like a man with bronchitis. As would any person, Charlie questioned how he got sick in the first place. We convinced him it was the salad, and he still believes it to this day.
Tale 2: Getting 'Lit'
I know what you're thinking, and no, we did not go to a party and use illegal substances to get 'lit'. Instead, we used lit with a different meaning. In our case, we used it to describe our workouts that we would do in our crammed hotel rooms to burn off the countless calories we consumed throughout the day, most notably, gelato. Our workouts consisted of push-ups, sit-ups, wall squats, and anything else we could utilize given the space we had.
The problem: as our trip continued, our rooms got smaller and smaller making it increasingly difficult to get 'lit'. Eventually, we gave up like most people with their New Year's resolutions.
Tale 3: Keeping the Snap Streaks Alive
Yes, it was important that we all kept our snap streaks alive during the trip #millennials. In Italy, having wi-fi to send snapchats was easy: we had internet in our hotel room so we just sent our snapchats when we got home after the day's festivities. Greece, on the other hand, was a different story.
On the Greek cruise ship tour, there was no wi-fi. When we first heard that we would be disconnected from the outside world for 4 days, we panicked and tried to think how we would keep the snap streaks alive.
Solution: everyday on the Greek island, we made it our first priority to find a cafe with internet, which was harder than you might think. In the end, the streaks survived.
Looking back, I could care less about snapstreaks.
Tale 4: Wake Up Calls
Going into the trip, I knew we would seize everyday to its fullest, i.e. early wake up calls. However, I did not think our tour guide, Linda, would be so evil as to cast upon as a 4am wake up call. I mean, who does that? Anyway, to combat the piercing noise of a phone ringing at 4am, we blasted our favorite songs to wake us up.
We don't like the songs we used as alarms anymore.
Tale 5: Make Shift Lighting Booth
I am a photographer, at least I like to think that. And when I first entered our room on the cruise ship, I fell in love with the lighting that poured though our circular window. Surrounding the window was a box-like space that was able to be closed with a curtain. I loved the mini room so much that I made it into a photo booth and a bed.
Tale 6: Greek Bae
When waiting for our luggage in the cruise ship lobby, DJ Davis, a friend on the trip, said the typical "6 o'clock" to indicate that there was an attractive girl behind him. He was convinced that she - Greek Bae - kept looking at him, but in reality, she was looking at herself in the mirror.
That night as we boarded a small ship to visit Mykonos, there were two empty seats on the boat: one next to DJ and one next to me. Conincidently, Greek Bae happened to be on the same boat. When DJ and I saw her, we telepathically communicated "Oh bro look, there she is". And who did she sit by? Me. At that moment, I wanted to bust out laughing, but I knew I had to keep my composure. Greek Bae, who told me her name was Paige, quickly became a friend and part of the "squad".
After that night, we kept running into Paige in the most bizarre places: Rhodes, Patmos, the Parthenon, and a museum in Athens. Finding her in those places was like finding a needle in a haystack. I should have bought a lottery ticket.
Paige Wold is stil a great friend to this day.
If given the opportunity, I highly recommend traveling to different parts of the world. Whether it is for a foreign exchange program, missions trip, or personal leisure, traveling opens up your eyes and mind to different cultures and perspectives.
Along the way you will have many wild adventures and meet awesome people, so be sure to take lots of pictures and create a journal!