Titans to travel in June 2024: London and Paris

Gibson Southern’s first trip to Europe since 2008

Lucas Kissel, Reporter

Gibson Southern High School has not made a trip to Europe since 2008. But, for the first time in 14 years, Titans have the opportunity to fly across the Atlantic to spend 10 days experiencing British and French culture and sights in both London and Paris. English teacher Jared Grigsby is the tour organizer.

“When you travel abroad, it is a life changing opportunity,” Grigsby said. “And, students have not had that opportunity unless they were enrolled in a Spanish class.”

Gibson Southern students traveled with former Spanish teacher JJ Epperson to Costa Rica in 2018 and Puerto Rico in 2016. Spanish teacher Scott Walden was the last person to take students to Europe, visiting Spain in 2008.

Choosing a destination was one thing Grigsby wanted to be particular about. 

“London and Paris are two iconic places where students are familiar with sights,” Grigsby said. “You can watch a movie and see Big Ben and they think ‘Oh, that’s London, England.’ They know a lot — especially with the Queen passing — that there’s the monarchy over there, Buckingham Palace, changing of the Guard, and stuff like that.”

This opportunity is one that many students are unwilling to pass up. There are currently 67 spots filled for the excursion. Gibson Southern student Jeffmar Navidad is one of those who is preparing for the trip.

“I’m looking forward to being exposed to different people of different cultures,” Navidad said. “I’m also excited about riding on the train that goes under the English Channel from England to France.”

A student trip to Europe takes a lot of planning. Travelers will take an overnight flight to England, experience guided tours of London, a fish and chips dinner and visit the Tower of London, among other landmarks. They will then travel by Eurostar to Paris.,where they will visit the Louvre, explore and eat in the Latin Quarter, visit the Eiffel Tower, enjoy a Seine River Cruise and more. All this was not something that was planned overnight. Grigsby has been working on it for almost three years.

“I started [planning the trip] in 2019 but it got put on the backburner because of COVID, and then I started planning again on September 6, when we came back from Labor Day weekend,” Grigsby said. “I contacted EF Tours and started talking to them. We brushed off the old plan, made some tweaks and got her going again.”

Simply having a plan and travel itinerary were not enough to make this trip happen. Grigsby had to go through the proper channels before it was given a green light.

“I was able to present something to Mr. Adams, who then took it to Dr. Perry,” Grigsby said. “I met with him and then we took it to the school board for approval at the October 11 meeting.”

Grigsby intends to sponsor another trip in 2026. He wants to take a new group every two years on an excursion to new places.