Spring breakers but in real life?

Yalie spring break in Europe

The work-hard play-hard mentality is the most evident when we talk about spring break at Yale. Nothing screams the epitome of spring break other than the last minute rush of deadlines before the final (metaphorical) bell rings and students are off in a rush to pack their bags and head off to vacation, just as I did to fully take advantage of Yale’s 2 week spring break.

Given that spring break is two weeks instead of one, my friends and I were able to expand our possibilities for vacation destinations. To make the most of the extended vacation, we decided to expand our horizons and venture into Europe, tackling a variety of places from Paris to Portugal.

After grinding out all my assignments on Friday, I diverted all my attention to skillfully packing 2 weeks of clothes into a tiny carry-on. Then, on Monday, my friend Peyton and I headed off to JFK for our flight to Paris.

classic croissant moment

eiffel tower
Eiffel tower!!

To our surprise, we ran into fellow Timothy Dwight students (TDers) on the trail along the Seine as well as in the Louvre. The small world of spring break destinations!

Next up, we flew over to Porto, Portugal to meet with our other friend, Alice. The freedom of a 2 week spring break truly makes a difference! Alice, who does not have 5 days of classes, had already left campus on Thursday to go home before joining us in Portugal for the rest of the trip.

Once we met up, we took the train down to Lisbon, where we explored the city and nearby areas for 3 to 4 days.

Sintra castle during Spring Break
UNESCO site Sintra!

To add more diverse experiences to our trip, we took another flight to Madeira, an island off of Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo’s hometown, to explore nature and do some hiking. Even though we ran into some unexpected sickness along the way, we still managed to hike to the peak and acquired the new skill of navigating an international hospital.

Madeira hike
Check out these views

As our trip neared the end, we returned to the mainland and spent the last few days in Porto, where we wined and dined until late into the night.

Sunset in Porto
Daily sunset views

In the blink of an eye, spring break came to an end, but the memories will remain forever. Not only did we get to venture to a new continent, but we got to make the most out of the 20 hour travel time by hitting up so many different locations in Europe for a well-rounded experience.