A summer series about travel.  Sara Walker is a May 2012 graduate of the University of North Carolina in the school of journalism with a minor in southern studies.  Upon graduation, she and two of her equally crazy friends concocted a plan involving Europe, backpacks and six weeks abroad to put the lessons they learned at Carolina to use.  This is the first time in Europe for Sara but she has driven across the country in an RV (yep, that actually happened), lived all of last summer by herself in San Diego working for CBS College Sports Network and has driven through the deep South following the Blues Highway—Route 61—just to say she’s done it. Check here for weekly updates on what Sara is doing, where she is and what trouble she will find herself in next.

As the last step of packing, I’ve decided to come up with a helpful guide for the next six weeks.  My inspiration: UNC commencement speaker Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Bloomberg summed up his speech by telling each of us graduates to spell out TAR HEEL, with each letter representing one of his key talking points.  He said it best…

“Now, I know you remembered every word of that, but just in case, here’s a summary of the seven, in no particular order: Teamwork is everything. Assist others. Risks are necessary. Hmmmm, the first three letters of those words are T-A-R – I wonder where this is going. Hustle, always. Elbows occasionally have to be used. Education is a lifelong journey. Love what you do. And if you put that list together, it of course spells Tar – Heel.”

Here is my own version, keeping his words with a few amendments of my own. 
Teamwork is everything.  This one is a keeper.  As the only people I know in Europe are the two who will be accompanying me on this trip, my biggest concern is in always staying with each other.  In the words of Jack Johnson, it’s always better when we’re together.
Assist others.  While I can’t claim our main intention in going to Europe is for a completely noble cause like ending world hunger, we will be helping out on a local farm, which I think counts.  Yes, that’s right, we are official WWOOFers.  For those who don’t know, WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.  This organization sets people up to work on local organic farms in exchange for room and board.  We will be helping out on a family-run farm in northwestern Italy for two weeks of our trip.
Risks are necessary.  I think our trip in general qualifies for this one.
Hustle always.  We will be the first one in every gallery, church, museum, etc.  We are those tourists.
Elbows occasionally have to be used. See the above.
Education is a lifelong journey.  I was that student who avoided art history in college like the plague.  This trip will have me wishing otherwise…and I imagine we’ll learn a bit about life along the way.
Love what you do.  I think there is no better way to end this post or sum up what we hope to get out of this trip—loving every minute of this incredible opportunity.
So there you have it—our guide to remaining true Tar Heels while traveling through Italy, Switzerland and Spain.  Next stop—ROMA!