Daniel P. Joyce ’76 | September 18, 2020
We were totally naïve in the ways of the world. Some took their first plane ride ever to get to New York City for our August 9, 1973 launch on the SS France for a week-long voyage across the Atlantic to begin our year abroad in Innsbruck, Austria. We landed in Le Havre, France, and spent a few days of cultural immersion in Paris before taking up temporary residency in Salzburg, Austria, for a six-week orientation program.
After orientation, we had free reign to travel for a week or so, with no guides or chaperones. Our only instructions were to make our way back to Innsbruck on the designated day to be assigned to our living quarters and start the school year. Today’s connected parents will find that much liberty as shocking and as foreign as Zoom would have been to our 19-year selves — and much more frightening.
At the time of that interlude, I had not yet developed the close friendships among the Innsbruck group that have lasted a lifetime. I listened briefly to what others were proposing to do during the break and decided to do my own thing. I recall having a goal of visiting Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon and maybe even making my way to the old sod of Ireland, but after finally arriving in London I realized I had not, in today’s terms, demonstrated good time management. The disappointment was outweighed by the yearning to rejoin everyone for the real start of the school year, and I set off for Innsbruck after a couple of lonely days in London.
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