After the tour, I stayed for an extra two weeks to travel through Europe with my parents. As I flew from Dublin to London to rendezvous with my family, I got in the car and I immediately felt as if I was missing 35 other people. I was surrounded by new friends for almost 3 weeks, and suddenly I was on my own. It took a few days to adjust to having only 3 travel partners.
I had learned so much on this tour that by the time I began traveling with my family, I knew a lot of the tips and tricks. Getting through airports and using public transit no longer stumped me. I was able to travel with ease, even in countries that spoke different languages. Dr. Smalley and Dr. van Iersel provided instruction, but also allowed us to be independent so we could experience and learn as much as possible.
I honestly did not expect to love the plant portion of this class as much as I did. Instead of getting excited to see the museums, I began to look forward to touring the gardens. Once we reached the later portion of the trip, gardens were essentially all we toured. I even signed up for Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants to take this next semester to further my interest and understanding of horticulture.