Studying abroad has brought a new meaning to the word independent. Before coming to Italy I thought I was pretty self sufficient, I mean there was the one time I went to the movies by myself. However, I never thought I would be cool with traveling the globe solo. But after watching the Lizzie McGuire Movie I was inspired and decided to head to Rome on my own. I booked a hostel for the weekend at 11pm Thursday night, bought a ticket to Rome at the station Friday morning, and was on my way.
The whole weekend was like something out of a movie. Everything just worked out so perfectly. The moment I got to the hostel I threw my bags in my room (which I shared with 7 other strangers) and went out exploring. I quickly walked down our street which was scattered with trendy shops and coffee bars, made my first left turn, and was standing directly face to face with the Colosseum. I was in complete and total awe so much so that I cried one single tear. Embarrassing. Everything was just so grand and unreal. I mean I have seen photographs of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Trevi Fountain throughout the course of my entire life, but actually being there seeing these iconic monuments physically in front of me was a completely different experience. I walked around with my eyes wide open and mouth agape for a good 5 hours before I was interrupted by the rain and had to run back the the hostel. Once there I got freshened up and was welcomed with opened arms to hang with some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever had the chance to meet. My roommates ranged from kids who just graduated college or even high school and are taking a whole year to travel on their own to other students studying abroad and taking a weekend trip like me and believe it or not, two of my sisters in Delta Gamma at Oregon. Can this world get any smaller?
The whole day Saturday I spent with some girls from the hostel, the DGs I met, and their friend who happens to be studying Art History abroad in Rome and gave us a private guided tour of the entire city and all of it’s ancient glory. I mean, this kid Erik, knew his stuff. He told us all about the different kinds of architecture and styles of columns, why all the Egyptian obelisks were on display pretty much every piazza, the artists and background of every single statue, and of course, all the best places to hang out and grab a bite to eat. After this long and tiring day we needed a good place to chow down, so we headed to a little place called Pimm’s Good where I enjoyed a glass of red and some bangin’ carbonara, a roman specialty. There we also made friends with an older German couple who gave my friend Sher and I passes for one of those double decker bus tours to use the next day. We thought why not?
On Sunday Sher and I got up bright and early, grabbed the usual cappuccino, and took the subway to a cute little part of town where there was an enormous local flea market full of garments for 1 euro, mink coats, books, and hundreds of thousands of old pictures and postcards. I even talked a vendor down 10 euros and bought a cute black floppy hat *sassy hair flicking girl emoji*. After our little local adventure we completely changed roles and sat on the top of a tourist double decker tour bus for the rest of the day. It really was great seeing the city from a birds eye view. Unfortunately, after the tour ended I had to run back to hostel, pick up my things, and head to the train station to catch my ride.
Overall, it was the best weekend I’ve had in Italy so far. I saw some pretty unreal things and made hella cool friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life. If there is one thing I wish to teach people and it seems to be one thing that every single traveller I’ve met has in common, it’s that you can do things on your own. Don’t be a follower and get held back by others. Truly enjoy yourself and all that this big world has to offer