not all tourism is tacky

Sisters travel to Europe and experience culture

Maddy Kang, Co-Editor-in-Chief

After a long flight of about 10 hours, jet-lagged sisters Abby Loudenback and Caroline Loudenback arrive in Europe ready to take on the adventures in store for them for the next few weeks.

About a  summer ago, senior Abby and freshman Caroline travelled with their family to many different European countries for a family vacation. They experienced many aspects of European life and also experienced the joys and difficulties of travelling somewhere foreign.

The Loudenbacks toured most of Europe taking “pit stops” at each country to visit its historical landmarks and
experience its culture

loudenback“We went to a bunch of different places. We went to London, Paris, and Rome,” Abby said. We went to the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Spanish Steps [and] the London Eye. Some of them were fun, but other ones had a bunch of plaques and too much information — some of the tours were too long.”

Caroline also mentioned riding the London Eye, one of the highlights of the trip. She also explained what other significant places they went sight-seeing at and memorable things they did.

“We went to the Colosseum and the Vatican, and then we [went] to the Tower of London and saw all of the crown jewels – the royal’s crown’s,” Caroline said. “They were really pretty, they were this purple color, and it was really cool.”

Both sisters distinguished many differences in European culture and daily
American life.

“The biggest thing was walking everywhere we went,” Caroline said. “They [also] eat a lot healthier than we do; you don’t see people walking around just eating junk food. The people in the hotels were really nice, but they kind of had to be […] but some of the people, they kind of came off as impolite.”

Abby said she noticed differences in the way natives acted at restaurants, but also said she felt she didn’t stay in Europe for long enough to notice drastic differences in their everyday life. However, adjusting was somewhat easier for Abby because she knew a common language — French.

“I took French through elementary and middle school, so knowing French, or at least some of French helped me understand more things in Paris,” Abby said.

And of course, what is a trip without a chaotic event piled into the large stack of fees, deadlines, transportation, national currency and other stressful endeavors  of international travel? One day, the sisters were going to go to the Eiffel Tower and slept in while their parents went and explored a church.

“…When they had gone, they bought some chocolates,” Caroline said. Abby has a nut allergy…so the chocolate must’ve touched some kind of nuts or something, and as we were leaving…her throat started getting itchy […] and all of a sudden she had a really bad allergic reaction [at the Eiffel Tower]. We didn’t know where the hospital was, so we were trying to ask all the police officers, and none of them spoke English. Then finally we got a cab and went to the hospital. [The whole thing] was a little scary; I thought she was going die for a second.”

Caroline also said that the hospital was free; their family didn’t get charged for anything. And Even after all of that, though, Abby and Caroline both said the trip was very fun and memorable.

“The plane ride was too long, but it was worth it because it was a different to experience going out of the country instead of going on a vacation inside of the U.S,” Abby said. “[My favorite part was] going to all of the different places. It was [unique] to experience them.”