Hey everybody, I just wanted to say a few things before we roll this epic blog off the front page. Sharing with you all the fun and adventures my friends and I had during our semester in Rome has been enjoyable. Thanks so much for following my travels through this blog. I hope you enjoyed it.
I'm getting ready to head back to South Bend, Indiana for the second semester of my fourth year at Notre Dame. I'd so much rather be going back to Europe like I was almost exactly a year ago.
As I review the entries in this blog, it's clear how independent travel on a budget opened up an entire new continent to me. Like my dad likes to say, “traveling close to the ground” gives you a more vivid and valuable experience than any comfortable stay in a 5-star hotel. Traveling like a student (regardless of your age) allows you to meet the real people of a country, not just the tuxedo'd bell boys that jump to your every need.
My experience and making this blog as given birth to a new passion for me. It's called andysteves.com. I am building a web site designed to help other college kids enjoy their weekend travel adventures. As my dad has been passionate about this kind of travel his whole life, I feel the same enthusiasm creeping in to mine. While abroad, I thoroughly enjoyed taking my friends to my favorite places across the continent. I also did some exploration of my own to Prague, Istanbul, Greece and delved into previously uncharted territories in Northern Ireland. My time abroad was a non-stop learning experience where I learned just as much or more about life outside the classroom as in it.
Each year more American students are studying abroad who've never used their passports before. And I saw a need for a resource devoted specifically to these students for everything from tips on reserving hostels to which mode of transportation is best to what cities are best for nightlife. That's when I began to develop my idea to create a collaborative website where college students can go to decide and discuss where to study, plan their trips ahead of time, and share about them after. Andysteves.com was launched back in October to do just this. Since then, I've been actively uploading recommended itineraries based on my own, and those of my friends' travels. So far, I've uploaded London, Barcelona, Rome, Milan, Cefalu, Venice, Prague, Gimmelwald, the 5 Terre, Dublin, and Paris with many more in the works. Each of these itineraries are linked to my photo albums and blog entries on the destination to give students a more complete understanding of what the city has to offer as their time is infinitely valuable and limited at the same time. They only have a given number of weekends to travel, and I want to help them make the most of it. I'm working with my father's web designer to create a forum for students to sign in and discuss any number of travel-related topics. In time, I hope to develop a relationship with the study abroad departments of colleges across the nation where I'll pursue any opportunities to get the word out about this valuable and completely free resource.
While it'll be fun to see where andysteves.com goes, my studies are taking me to a career in industrial design. Just this week I've been searching for an internship in that field. (You can check out my online portfolio here at www.coroflot.com/asteves to get a better idea of what my major actually is.)
I'm sure I'll be putting my passport to good use in the near future. It's great to be able to share my experiences for younger travelers on my dad's website. I want to say thanks again for reading and I hope we can blog-travel together again in the future. Happy travels! Andy
About This Entry
You are reading "Wrapping up this blog and looking ahead", an entry posted on 07 January 2009 by Andy Steves.