CYA Spring Breakers spring breakers header
13 Apr 2018

CYA Spring Breakers

CYA’s spring break kicked off on April 1st this year, coinciding with both Easter and April Fool’s Day. Students said their goodbyes to one another and boarded planes to meet up with family, friends, boyfriends, and girlfriends. Many students also stuck around Athens to welcome guests from home or prepped for a ferry ride to the surrounding islands blossoming in Spring.

My spring break began with my alarm ringing at five in the morning. The first half of the week I was to stay in London, then move on to Amsterdam. I was very excited to be meeting up with my boyfriend, who used to live in London and was going to show me around like a local. My favorite stop there was Camden Market: a funky, alternative market with stalls loaded with handmade crafts, vintage clothes, used books, band t-shirts galore, and food from all around the globe.

I’ve wanted to visit Amsterdam all semester and I was not disappointed. The colder air made me feel like I was back in New England, except the picturesque streets were lined with canals and endless bikes so they looked like they were flocks of birds. If I could describe my spring break in one word it would be: bliss.

I interviewed a few of my peers to learn about their spring break experiences and between all of us — I think we covered the globe

Katy Brainerd [Washington University in St. Louis]

CYA Spring Breakers Katy Brainerd Washington University in St. Louis

I traveled to Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and after a surprise canceled flight, Beijing! My favorite memory from the trip was volunteering at the Wildlife Friends Foundation in Thailand. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be up close to animals like gibbons, sun bears, and best of all, elephants! I got to feed the elephants, take them for walks, and give them their daily afternoon bath. Elephants suffer so much abuse at the hands of tourists, so it was incredible to support an organization that saves and rehabilitates animals from all over Southeast Asia and encourages people to travel ethically.

I have been lucky to travel all over the world this semester, but I wish that I had more weekends to add Egypt and Istanbul to my list! Describe your spring break in one word: eye-opening. I have traveled extensively, but never to Asia, and I hadn’t realized how much of the world I haven’t been exposed to until this spring break trip!CYA Spring Breakers Katy Brainerd Washington University in St. Louis 2


Becca Bowles [Emory University]

CYA Spring Breakers Becca Bowles Emory University 2

I went to Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stavanger. My favorite part of my trip was going on a hike up to a huge frozen waterfall with one of my “relatives”. It was absolutely stunning and so good to get out into nature!  If I could have traveled anywhere in the world (regardless of safety) I would go to Egypt. I would love to see the history there and also go to the Two Brothers Islands where I could dive in the Red Sea with sharks! Describe your spring break in one word: rejuvenating.CYA Spring Breakers Becca Bowles Emory University

Jacki Kotkiewicz [Gettysburg College]

CYA Spring Breakers Jacki Kotkiewicz Gettysburg College

I traveled to the Greek Islands! Specifically, I went to Andros, Mykonos, Naxos, and Santorini. As Easter is such a big deal for the Greeks, I tried to immerse myself in as much of the culture and celebrations as possible.

My favorite memory from the trip was getting to witness the Good Friday celebrations in Pyrgos, Santorini! Here, they have a unique tradition of lighting up the entire town with fire. They place hundreds of metal cans with flammable material on the roofs of the village, and when it comes time for the funeral procession of Jesus Christ, the entire town quickly became ablaze. It was beautiful to witness this breathtaking spectacle and even more fun to chat with the enthusiastic Greek children who were captivated by the glow of this small village on a hill.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to so many places, but one place I am bummed I do not have time to travel to is the island of Hydra. As no cars are allowed on the island, the primary mode of transportation is donkeys! I have been told by so many people that this picturesque island is a must see! If I ever come back to Greece, I will definitely be going here.CYA Spring Breakers Jacki Kotkiewicz Gettysburg College 2