Love blooms abroad

by Mallory Higgins

My Term is a time to see sights and have an adventure. But for some students, May Term trips have been a chance to spend three weeks with their significant other.

Senior Jenny Lynch went to Europe last year with her boyfriend, Simpson graduate Nick Stein.

“We are best friends,” Lynch said. “I always want a friend around when I travel. I also learned a lot about him and he learned a lot about me through our trip.”

Even if Stein weren’t on the trip, it wouldn’t have changed her experience much, Lynch said.

“We did everything with the group,” Lynch said. “In this situation, we were more friends than a couple. We are not a ‘lovey dovey’ couple in the first place.”

Lynch said that other students didn’t treat her or Stein any differently.

“He roomed with another boy and I roomed with another girl,” Lynch said. “This trip was a lot like a big group of people hanging out, even though there was a couple on the trip.”

Lynch said having Stein along was fun.

“Neither of us were afraid to spend money to do something extra on the trip,” Lynch said. “We have similar interests so I always knew I had someone to go do something with. Luckily everything worked out.”

Associate Professor of Biology Jeff Parmelee had a couple get engaged on his May Term trip last year in Australia.

“Everyone knew Nate [Foley] was going to propose to Andrea [Flatt],” Parmelee said. “We were at a restaurant and he stood up and said that he had a great time on the trip. But then he stood back up and said he had one more thing. Then we all went out on this patio and he proposed to her.”

The other students and Parmelee rented a horse and carriage for the newly-engaged couple as a spur-of-the-moment gift.

“It was great to be a part of that with Nate and Andrea,” Parmelee said.

Parmelee said couples should be prepared for possible stress on their relationship in addition to the stress of traveling.

“I think you have to have the right mind frame to go on a trip like this with your significant other,” Lynch said. “I think people need to remember that this is a school trip, not a trip for you and your boyfriend.”

Lynch said there was one good benefit to having her boyfriend in the trip.

“My phone bill was a lot smaller than everyone else’s just because the person I would have called the most was on the trip with me,” Lynch said.

Sophomore Tonya Thomas is taking a trip this May Term to Spain, Italy and France with her boyfriend senior Nate Broghammer.

Thomas said even though they’re a couple, they’ll do everything with the group.

“There is another couple going on this trip so we plan on going on a double date together,” Thomas said. “Other than that, we plan on doing all the group things.”

Thomas said she’s excited to go on this trip with her boyfriend.

“Neither of us have gone on a trip before,” Thomas said. “I am excited to have him there and I know I will feel safe having him around.”