by Taryn Haralson
What do you get when you combine a cruise and Europe? One exciting summer. That’s how Highland student Nikki Munoz spent the summer of 2014. Munoz, along with four family members, flew to Europe June 9th, cruised around Europe, spent a few extra days in Spain, and then flew back to California June 15th
Munoz visited many different places in her two-week trip to Europe.
“We went to Barcelona, Spain, Eze, Monaco, and Monte Carlo, France and Rome, Capri, Naples, Piazza and Florence, Italy. France was our first stop on the cruise, then ending back in Barcelona, Spain,” she explained, outlining the extent of the travel.
Munoz struggled to name which countries or cities were her favorites to visit. She eventually narrowed it down to Florence, Italy or Pompeii.
She enjoyed Florence because of the “cool atmosphere and the architecture,” but also loved Pompeii because she was able to visit and see the sights she had previously studied in her Latin class. Munoz’s least favorite place, though she still really liked it, was Monte Carlo, France, because there wasn’t a lot to do.
Surprisingly,there was hardly any language barrier in the places they visited, and most of the time there wasn’t any problem communicating with the locals despite traveling through countries where the language was French, Italian and Spanish. The main place with a language barrier issue was Turkey.
Munoz reports, “When we flew to and from Spain, we had a layover in Istanbul, Turkey. There was definitely a language barrier. Hardly anyone knew English. Otherwise, everywhere else in Europe, the people knew English or at least knew enough English.”
Regarding cultural differences beyond language, Munoz says, “In Spain, they drink warm milk. If I asked for cold milk, they would probably look at me like I was insane.” Another thing she noted was the fast food; the fast food buildings were multiple stories high and there was no such thing as take out. Apparently, a person is unable to order food and take it to go.
Traveling abroad has expanded Munoz’s perspective and understanding of the world and as helped her to see how different things are in countries around the world Although she doesn’t have any travel plans for the immediate future, when asked if she wanted to go back, it was a quick, enthusiastic and definite yes.