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  • Writer's picture Hailey Thibodeaux

A LeadAgain From Greece to Florence: A European Dream

By Hailey Thibodeaux, 2023 DIRECT Greece & 2024 DIRECT Florence


My name is Hailey Thibodeaux and I am from Thibodeaux, Louisiana. I am an international marketing major at LSU. I traveled with LeadAbroad on the DIRECT Greece program in the summer of 2023. I have always loved history and architecture, so I chose to travel to Greece to deepen my knowledge of one of the oldest places on earth. I was able to walk the streets of ancient Corinth, where I saw the Temple of Apollo and got the coolest pictures.


While in Greece, I met two of my best friends, Audrye and Allie. One of my favorite memories from the trip was our nightly walks down the streets of Santorini together, where we found the best gelato place. If it weren’t for LeadAbroad, I would have never met these amazing women and will forever be grateful for our friendship.


Following her experience in Greece, Hailey knew it was important to secure a spot early on for the following summer as spots typically sell out at the beginning of the fall if she wanted to travel with us again.


After having the experience of a lifetime, Hailey knew she wanted to encourage other people in my life to go on a LeadAbroad program.


Then, best friend Gracie and I decided to travel with LeadAbroad on the DIRECT Florence program in 2024 for my second summer in a row!


Gracie and I both have ancestry stemming from Italy, and chose the DIRECT Florence program to hopefully learn more about our family history. Although Gracie and I currently live together, we both have very busy schedules, and rarely have time to spend outside of school or work. When she told me that she wanted to go abroad, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to share my love of traveling with her.


We're both really excited for the food, especially the homemade cooking class. Neither one of us are skilled in the kitchen, and are excited to push each other to try new things. Our goal is to “say yes” to everything and create memories that we can tell our grandchildren. There is nobody else I would rather explore Florence with, all while making new friends along the way.

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