When In Rome (You Get Lost)

Well, I’m finally here. It still seems so surreal that this beautiful, history rich country will be my home for the next four months. Walking down the streets is like walking through a movie set. I can’t say I’ve passed a street that I haven’t thought was beautiful. Sure, I’ve tripped a few times on the cobblestone but the charm of the city is worth the occasional toe stub. From the open-air windows, to the crawling vines, to the Christmas lights hanging above every winding street, there isn’t much to dislike.

We (Kailee, David, and I) left EARLY Sunday morning. After a restless three hour nap the night before, the airport was a bit overwhelming, which I had anticipated. This will definitely be the longest I’ve gone without seeing my family or visiting home so goodbyes were not easy. Luckily Kailee and her family were at security too, keeping me from being a blubbery mess in the security line. Both flights out of Minneapolis and Philly were delayed because of the weather out east but otherwise the trip went very smoothly.

I sat next to a wonderful Polish woman on the plane, Eva. I don’t know if we’ll make it to Poland, but she was kind enough to suggest cities to visit and even offered to let us stay with her. Such kindness.

Touching down in Italy really made everything real. I was finally realizing that I would struggle with the language barrier, that things were going to happen at a different pace than expected, and that I was a really far way away from home. For four months. I don’t know if that aspect has really sunk in for me yet. It still feels like a vacation, like I’ll go home in a few days or weeks.

Currently on day three here and I’m learning quickly that people were not joking when they said I would want good walking shoes. We’ve walked around for hours on end every day. We usually have a destination in mind, but navigation here is not the easiest. I now leave our apartment with the mindset that I probably will be lost for a bit before we finally figure out where we need to go. Hopefully by the time I leave, I’ll have things figured out a little more. A 15 minute walk home turned into 90 minutes last night as we trekked down similar looking streets for what seemed to be hours. I can feel the blisters forming just thinking about it.

Everyone here seems nice to far. As for the American students, it’s like freshmen year all over again. Everyone says hi to everyone they pass in the apartment, introduces themselves, asks the basic questions, and tries to make as many new friends as possible. I’m sure it’ll get a lot easier once we all start having class together too. Italians have been nice to us so far too. Sometimes communication is quite challenging but I’m hoping it’ll just keep getting easier as the semester continues.

So far, SO GOOD. The pizza is delicious, the gelato is sweet, the wine is abundant. (Hello weight gain!) I’m excited to see what these next four months will bring for me.

Ciao for now friends!

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