No matter where in the world our alumni members go, our greatest journey is always the one we take together. I recently returned from an amazing and memorable alumni campus abroad trip to Spain with AHI, our Alumni Travel Program partner. This particular trip was designed especially for alumni to travel together to new places, learn about history and culture, get inspired, make new connections and bring our unique stories home to share.
My mother accompanied me and we traveled with a few more adventurous people from Marquette University, Douglass College and the National Trust. (It takes a minimum of 15 travelers from Boise State Alumni Association to have an exclusive Boise State trip.) We shared many “small world” moments with common connections and interests. And did we have fun!
Boise State alumni traveling together abroad is not only about discounts and convenience, though these are certainly added benefits for members. Our trips are planned to include incredible learning experiences including exclusive access to sites and experts with unique tours and engaging lectures. An exciting exchange takes place when we visit new places and participate in unfamiliar customs and cultures. We think differently, make new connections and grow new ideas and understanding.
Our group marveled at the Gaudi architecture of Barcelona, tasted wonderful wine in the vineyards of the Penedes region, explored the iconic Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, walked the route run by the bulls in Pamplona (no bulls this time), and enjoyed the beautiful beaches, promenades and public art in San Sebastian. We also learned, from local university professors, about the history and politics of Catalonia and the Basque Country, the inspiration and techniques of Antoni Gaudi, and Ernest Hemingway’s experience in and influence on Spain. We shared a meal with local residents who answered our questions about local life and customs. Of course, there was plenty of good wine, great food and delightful company.
Traveling on alumni association trips with AHI provides the perfect balance between optional group activities and free time to explore on one’s own. The best part is that everything is first class, yet affordable, and every detail is anticipated. For example, I asked our travel director, a young man who grew up in San Sabastian and attended college in Barcelona, where I might buy some camera batteries and he reached into his bag an handed me four fresh batteries. He recommended off-the-beaten-path places to eat fantastic local food and, when my mom and I were departing for home at the very early hour of 5 a.m., he met us in the hotel lobby with breakfast packed to go. Since all guides and lecturers are local, the experience is brought even closer – and it doesn’t hurt to have a multi-lingual translator close by.
The Boise State Alumni Association makes unforgettable journeys possible for members and their friends and families. Connect to the world and each other through our Alumni Travel Program. Join us on this delightful adventure in discovery!
Laura C. Simic is vice president for advancement at Boise State University.
- Chile and Argentina: March 18-30
- Switzerland: June 7-17
- Canada and New England: Oct. 3-13
For details visit our website or call 800-323-7373.