One month. I have lived in Rome, Italy for one whole month. When looking back on the past four weeks in this city, one quote continues to pop in my head: “If I can do this, I can do anything”. As much fun as traveling throughout Europe has been, I can’t lie and say that it hasn’t been hard at times. Whether its the language, public transportation, or just the unfamiliarity of my surroundings, this trip has presented many challenges. But, with patience, determination, and help from my family and friends, I can look back on this month with a proud feeling and 30 days full of wonderful memories.
It seems like just last week I was packing my bags and getting everything organized to leave the U.S. Now I look around my apartment and my suitcase is packed once again. I have learned so much in the past four weeks; about the city, about the architecture, and most importantly about myself. Although it seems like I am leaving with the same amount of things I came with (plus a few souvenirs of course), I am leaving with so much more.
The class I chose to take in Rome was called Palaces of Rome. It consisted of lectures and on-site tours. I am so happy I decided to take that course because I got to learn about various palaces as well as seeing many of them in person. This let me see into some of the deep history of the city and the surrounding area, which was really interesting. The city of Rome is filled with so much beautiful artwork and architecture and to be honest, no picture can really do it justice. I am so fortunate to have been able to see so much of it in just four short weeks.
Aside from school, I got to find out a lot about myself while I have been here. Being thrown into a foreign country with a different culture can really bring out the true colors of a person. I learned that I definitely have a lack of patience (actually I should have already known that). Being in a Type B culture when you are a Type A individual can be quite a change and can cause some frustrations. I also learned that I am an American food junkie. I already have a list of the different foods I can’t wait to have again once I get back to the U.S. (although I will miss the gelato very much).
Although I have only been away from home for four weeks, I do feel like I have grown as a person. Trying to navigate a foreign country and not having a lot to rely on really made me independent. With the help from my friend, we were able to see five different cities all on our own. Yes, this took many hours of planning and frustrations, but hey we just saw five cities in Europe. This will for sure be something that I will look back on my whole life with pride and a sense of accomplishment.
My second favorite souvenir consists of the many memories that I will be bringing home. Some of them are captured in photos, but so many are only in my mind. From being able to recite the entire safety instructions on a plane, to the looks the locals gave us when we couldn’t speak Italian, this trip has been filled with so much laughter and joy. I am truly blessed with these small memories that I will hold with me from this trip.
While I am writing my posts, I am usually listening to music. One song that comes up and immediately reminds me of this trip is the song, “I Lived” by One Republic. Part of this song goes:
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
Yeah with every broken bone
I swear I lived
This month has truly been the trip of a lifetime and I am so proud of myself that I had the courage to do it. I know when I look back on this experience and all the guts it took to do it, I will be able to accomplish anything I set my mind to. This feeling is why I study abroad and I hope you will too. Thank you for following me on my journey this past month, Ciao!