Words cannot begin to describe how amazing this trip was or how much fun I had, but before I focus on the trip I want to talk about pre-departure to show how this was a very exciting (but also very nerve wracking) time of my life. For background, I am a summer 2023 graduate, so this means I still got to walk the stage for graduation in May even though I wasn’t officially graduating yet. Even though it was not officially my time, I was still very emotional to sit on that stage with the friends I made in the past 3 years as we contemplated what is next in life. However, none of us were sad because we knew that we would be getting onto a plane the very next day to fly from Atlanta, Georgia all the way to Amsterdam, Netherlands! The ceremony then ends and we go off on our own ways to celebrate with family and to prepare for our flight the next day. 

It is now the morning of May 12, 2023, and I say goodbye to my family who came to Athens to see me graduate and then I hop in the car with my parents so they can take me to the Atlanta airport. At this moment, I am very excited but also very nervous because although I had been out of the country before I had never left the country via airplane (it’s only been driving to Canada or going on a cruise that has taken me to Mexico and the Dominican Republic) and this was also going to be the longest amount of time I had ever been out of the country (two and a half weeks). We finally make it to the airport and I say goodbye to my parents and then make my way through TSA. This is when it finally hits me that I “graduated” the day before and I am now about to board a plane to take me on my next adventure in life. After a few hours, it was finally time to board the plane and I could not hold in my own excitement as I finally set foot onto the plane.

Pictured above is me, the friends I have made in the Horticulture club (Ali, Micah, Lan, and Priscilla), and our advisor Julie Campbell. This was taken after the CAES convocation, and I am very honored to have been in the summer 2023 graduating class with my close friends and then to continue the celebration by going to Europe and participating in the Flowers & Photography study abroad with them at my side!