Study Tour

As I mentioned in my previous post, this Easter I am going to be spending 15 days in Italy. I actually have my university course to thank for this opportunity. I’m going because of something called ‘Study Tour’. This involves deciding on an essay topic that you want to look at, and then travelling to the location associated with this question. Essentially, you’re supposed to come up with a topic that you couldn’t write about unless you really saw things for yourself. For my question, I’ve decided to go to Rome. In a way it’s quite lucky that I wanted to go here, as due to the political situation Egypt has been unavailable for the last few years, and as of this year Turkey is also banned.

As well as simply loving the Romans, I am also a massive movie fan! A dream job would be to be involved in the historical accuracy of films and TV series. Consequently, an obvious choice was to write an essay which someone combined these two loves. I decided to look at whether the film Gladiator is accurate in its physical portrayal of the Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Commodus, and whether it is accurate in its depiction of the Emperor Commodus’s interactions with the Colosseum. Romans, gladiators and films – what’s not to love!!!

One of the reasons I fell in love with Ancient History to begin with! 

Obviously this is why I’m going to Italy. There I will be visiting Rome, Ostia, and also Naples to look at Museums and sites etc. An added bonus for this trip is that the University actually gives us some money to do this (although sadly we do also have to contribute a little bit of money ourselves). I’m travelling with a group of four other girls – who in fact happen to be the course mates I’m incredibly close with which is really nice. It’s actually going to be one of the first times that I’ve travelled abroad with a group of people I know incredibly well as normally with my adventures I’ve gone without really knowing anybody at all!

Over the last couple of months we’ve booked our flights, found an apartment in Rome (once again I can’t help but feel so grateful that Hostel World exists) and we’ve created an itinerary of all the places that we want to visit in each of the cities. One of the slightly difficult things about the Italian Museum websites is that they often don’t tell you exactly which exhibits they have, so that will be slightly interesting!

Now everything has been planned out it’s just a case of counting down the days until I can finish term, go home and pack for my next adventure. The last time I was in Italy was with a school trip during my GCSE’s. It’s certainly going to be interesting trying to find our way around the city by ourselves without any help! I have to admit, I’ll also be interested to see if I view the city differently knowing so much more about its history than most of the other places I’ve visited. Whatever happens, I just can’t wait to be abroad and back on another adventure again!

“You get educated by traveling.” – Solange Knowles


A look back…

Well, as I mentioned in my introductory post, I spent my gap year teaching in Namibia and kept a blog whilst I was out there. This is a really short post just to say that if anybody is interested in what my year was like – or even if you just want to see some pretty pictures of an incredible country, here is the address for my old blog…enjoy!

‘A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.’ Tim Cahill 

An introduction!

Hello! Well, welcome to my new blog! My name is Hebe Barlow. I’m 20, and currently a student at the University of Birmingham studying Ancient History. Before uni, I took a year out and went to live in Namibia for a year. I went with a charity from Scotland called Project Trust and spent my time teaching in a rural primary school in the South of the country, and then travelling in the holidays.

Sadly, due to complications with our Visas and illness in our group, I wasn’t able to do as much travelling as I would have liked. But during my time out there I did realise just how much I love travelling, photography and blogging. In two and a half weeks time I’m going to America to work at a summer camp for two months. After that, travel time! I have no idea where I’ll be going in the USA or who i’ll be travelling with, but I already can’t wait! I’m hoping that this is just the start of more travelling adventures and I thought well, why not start another blog for all my future travels?

Even if nobody ever reads this blog apart from family and friends, I hope I’ll continue it. I kept a blog throughout my time in Namibia and I can’t help but think that it’s such an amazing way to have a permanent record of all your adventures and experiences. Well…here goes!

‘The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.’ St Augustine