Vacations with Lessons–Part 2

To read part one of this post, click here!



Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 4.08.01 PM.pngWhile the French are ripe with a decorated history including a bloody revolution as well as a bohemian one, the Palace of Versailles is truly something else. A visual representation of absolute opulence, wealth, and history, the palace and its grounds are nearly impossible to cover in a day. See Marie Antoinette’s cabin on the garden’s grounds, a place she had built to get away from the busy palace, and feel the energy of what happened within the beautiful halls of Versailles.


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Heading out to the northeast tip of Africa is a travel destination that will teach you far more than any textbook ever had. Images of pyramids and hieroglyphics come to life in Egypt, where you’ll find the Sphinx is much bigger in real life than in your history textbook. Exploring the land of Cleopatra and King Tutankhamun is truly unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.


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Whether or not you studied Latin, learning about Greek mythology has most likely happened at some point in your life, even if you got it from Disney’s Hercules. Zeus, Achilles, and Aphrodite are all, essentially, household names, so traveling to Greece only brings those myths to life. Take a stroll through the Parthenon on the Acropolis, which served as the temple of the goddess of courage and war, or take in the majestic Mount Olympus, home of the Twelve Olympians: Zues, Hera, Poseidon, Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Demeter, and Dionysus.



For those who prefer a little rest and relaxation on a beautiful beach with a side of historical significance, the head across the border to Cancun. Excursions to ancient Mayan ruins are ripe with history and are easily accessible from the popular party destination.


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It’s hard not to take a step down any street in this Italian city without passing by a piece of history. Have a picnic on the Spanish Steps and visit the beautiful St. Peter’s Basillica, but make sure to save a day to explore the Coliseum. Explore the depths of the battlefield, where gladiators awaited their impending glory or demise, and imagine the spectators wildly cheering for their favorite.



Vacations with Lessons

They say some of life’s lessons are best learned outside of the classroom. And when winter and summer breaks roll around, quite often we want nothing more than to lay back, relax, and do anything but cram more knowledge into our heads. Even post-grads take off to Cancun or Key West after tossing their caps to unwind and, metaphorically, toss their textbooks to the wind before entering the workforce.

But for those who get a kick out of keeping their mind stimulated, how can they both treat themselves to an unbelievable getaway whilst still exercising their brain? To help, I’ve put together a list of destinations that will provide the fun and carefree feeling of a vacation, but will still keep you on your toes, mentally.


Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 3.53.03 PM.pngTourists pour into Peru to hike to the top of the famous Machu Picchu, booking up tours of the ancient Incan civilization for months in advance. We all were taught about the Incan empire, but we all haven’t seen the ruins of it, making this destination one that seems straight out of a history textbook.


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A lot of the historical events taught in school happened decades, if not centuries ago. They seem of another world and time. A major historical event that occurred much closer to my generation is the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Visiting the capital of Germany will open your eyes to an electric European city’s history, where portions of the wall still stand, such as the infamous East Side Gallery, which has been covered by works of art from artists across the global to signify it as an international memorial for freedom.


We learn of the horrors of the Nazi regime in schools, the inhumane happenings of concentration camps, and the absolute injustice that occurred during World War II. But paragraphs of words, photos in textbooks, and video footage don’t nearly express the cruel reality that many faced. However, visiting Auschwitz is an experience unlike any other, and truly helps us understand the horror of the victims who were kept there.Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 3.53.44 PM.png

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