Liliana Venditti ‘17 – Many students dream of leaving everything behind to go on life changing adventures, and do things like travel and study abroad. However, the chances of this actually happening are slim. For Mrs. Joseph, or Mrs. Joe as her art students call her, this dream became a reality. She left all responsibilities behind many years ago when she decided to quit her student teaching job to travel Europe.

“I started student teaching and then I quit because I decided I wanted to live a little first,” Joe said.

Joe started working at an art museum, saving money for her trip. When enough was saved, she packed all necessities in a small backpack and headed for Europe. Over the three months she traveled, she visited over ten different countries, her favorite being Scotland.

“The people were wonderful, I met a lot of cool people,” Joe said.

Backpacking is really as terrifying as it sounds. Generally, backpackers get dropped off in an unfamiliar area or country, and is completely on their own. They are all alone to find shelter, food, and their way around. While backpacking many stay in cheap housing called hostels. In these buildings there can be anywhere from four people in a room, to over twenty.

While the majority of many countries in Europe speak English, especially among the younger generations. The Czech Republic was one of the few places where conversations remained lost in translation. Joe went all the way to Prague only to realize that she could not communicate or even understand anybody there.

“I just kind of hopped on a bus and hoped I was going in the right direction. I made it,” Joe said.  
Despite the terrifying aspects of the trip, Mrs. Joseph took the opportunity. Lifelong friends and memories were made over those three months abroad. She was able to personally immerse herself in diversity, learn how others live, and see the world with a new perspective. Joe was one of the few to accomplish their goals of “living” before settling down in once place.

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