As I am sitting here in seat 10B on the train from Milan to Florence I have actual time to reflect on my trip so far. It’s been a whirlwind adventure and I’ve only been on the go for 48 hours, or something, actually I have no idea with the time change.
It all started with my loving family dropping me off at the Ft. Lauderdale airport then sitting on a ten hour plane ride with a couple who met while they were studying abroad 5 years ago who were generous enough to give me 4 hours worth of advice on the whole study abroad experience. After landing things seemed to go downhill, I almost got bumped off my connecting flight subsequently l lost my luggage. Once in Milan, frustrated and tired, I hung around the airport for a few hours dealing with my baggage trying to keep calm and not lose my cool and potentially stand out as a lost American and manage to get ‘taken’. Thankfully I was welcomed with open arms to stay in a hotel room in Milan with one of my sorority sisters and her boyfriend who now live in Italy. This morning I found the train station on my own and early in a strange city, got a little tour of a gorgeous city, and drank my first Italian espresso.
Basically, I have never felt more emotions in such a short period of time. It has been extremely stressful to say the least, which was expected. I mean I’m 21, on my own, and in a completely different culture with total strangers. However, the people I have met along this journey so far don’t feel like strangers. They have been overwhelmingly helpful, give detailed directions, and most importantly take their time in wanting to get to know me. I know this 4-month experience will teach me more than I can ever imagine, especially at this point. I am just so thankful for everything right now. It still seems unreal that I am even in Italy. Like, what?! What a beautiful life this is. I just want to open myself up to whatever experiences seem to come my way with an clear mind and truly fall in love with this city I’ve only seen in pictures in my textbooks and online. I have no doubt in my mind it will be the time of my life, but with that comes ups and downs, hopefully I get my luggage soon. This is a once in a lifetime chance to really test my limits and live life to the fullest.
I want to thank all of the people in my life that have made this trip a reality. I love you so much and wouldn’t be the adventurous person I am today without your guidance. Thanks.