It’s been just a few days since I’ve returned from Ireland with 79 students, faculty, alumni and friends from my 20th Capitals of the World Trip. I can still remember our first trip to Rome, and through the years we’ve visited Paris, Dublin, Madrid, London, Athens, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and Beijing. I can’t even imagine all the miles that have been logged crisscrossing the oceans with students. In fact, the students on this trip thought I should be entered into the Guinness World Records (yes, the same Guinness family of Guinness Beer fame) as the college or university president who has traveled overseas and over the years with more students than any other president worldwide. That’s something to think about!
There are so many memories that have been created both for Noel and me, as well as for all our adventurous travel companions. For many of our students, the Capitals of the World Trip was an experience of “firsts.” The first time they applied and received a US passport. The first time in an airplane. And the first time outside of America. Noel and I are so thrilled to have introduced our love of travel to generations of Bay Path students.
For this wonderful milestone, here are my top 20 memories of 20 years of Capitals of the World Trips—there are far too many for me to recount—and note they are NOT in any specific order!
- Standing with our group in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and proudly listening to a Bay Path student give the history of the Bernini columns.
- Visiting the Warsaw Uprising Museum where the resilience of the Polish people was somberly depicted in this 360° experience.
- Leaving our hotel in Paris with the students for a night walk to see the Eiffel Tower totally lit up marking the new Millennium.
- Experiencing the heartbreak felt by all when we silently walked through a concentration camp outside of Berlin.
- Standing in the exact spot where a student, in an act of defiance, faced the tanks in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
- Attending an opera in the 125-year-old National Opera House in Prague—another first for many of our students.
- Experiencing the musical Beauty and the Beast in Madrid, completely in Spanish.
- Running the track for the original Olympics on our Athens trip.
- Eating real strudel on the streets of Vienna.
- Having a one-on-one meeting for 90 minutes with Lady Margaret Thatcher in London.
- Throwing coins in the Trevi Fountain in Rome with our students.
- Watching a Shakespeare play in the reconstructed Globe Theatre in London.
- Clapping for the acrobatic and amazing Lipizzaner stallions at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.
- Walking silently through the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.
- Visiting the preserved city of Pompeii located outside Rome for a special tour.
- Gliding along the Seine River in Paris for an evening boat excursion.
- Touring the Acropolis of Athens, one of the universal symbols of civilization.
- Walking the Great Wall of China outside of Beijing with 92-year-old Venessa O’Brien, Class of 1938.
- Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Galway, Ireland.
- Being on planes with Elijah Wood and Anderson Cooper, and having my picture taken with Will Ferrell as we arrived back safe and sound from a Capitals of the World Trip.
Be sure to comment and share your best memory from your Capitals of the World Trip!