The Top 11 Moods of an American High Schooler in Europe (circa 2003)

More travel news, friends!


I found out this past week that I’ve been selected to lead a group of high school students to France through The Experiment for three weeks this summer. I couldn’t be more excited!

As I was looking for the good ol’ passport, I came across a box of photo albums with one on the top: My own trip to Europe as a high schooler.

Even though A. I was once a teen myself, and B. I have a passionate, smart, emotional 16-year-old sister, I can’t predict what it will be like to travel with a group of 10-12 teenagers for three consecutive weeks. This photo album helped me remember the highs, the middles and the lows of my own trip abroad. I went with my still-best-friend-from-middle-school, Erica, and we were a mess – cargo pants, hoodies, acne and all. Enjoy!

The Top 11 Moods of an American High Schooler in Europe (circa 2003)

While abroad for the first time, I felt…

1. Appreciative of the arts at the Louvre.



Especially when we could be participants. (Erica later became a Medieval Art Historian – maybe this is where it all began?)

2. In awe of the beauty of the Swiss landscape.


3. Like a Swiss model in the rain.


(I have yet to become a Swiss model.)

4. Like a princess escaping a castle.


Disguised in a hoodie.

5. Camera-ready in front of miscellaneous flowers.


Cargo pants in full glory.

6. Camera-fatigued on the streets of Paris.


7. Excited-awkward with the new Austrian host family.


8. Badass at a festival outside Vienna.



9. Really (really) exhausted in Italy…


…except when eating gelato.


10. Silly on a slide to a salt mine.


And most importantly…

11. Empowered to take on the world.


Or at least the Leaning Tower.

So what can I expect? I still don’t know, but I got a good laugh seeing the rainbow of moods I experienced when I went abroad for the first time. 


2 responses to “The Top 11 Moods of an American High Schooler in Europe (circa 2003)”

  1. Wow. Thank you for this blast from the past. My first thought about my former angsty teenage self is: “Damn, girl! Brush your hair! Exercise! Get some flattering clothes! Get some self-confidence and self-awareness while you’re at it!” And then I accept it as a special time in our lives we can look back on both with horror and relief that we’ve since developed into awesome people.

    I wish you the best of luck with those navel-gazing ingrates, ahem…teenagers.

  2. Erica, I think I may be surprised to find that my group is more mature, and likely more groomed, than I (*cough we*) were. Something about my sister’s generation… I can’t picture Jana ever thinking, “I think I’ll pack this hoodie to take to Paris.” And from what I can tell about this program, it’s a smart and cultured bunch. I will let you know!

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