May 30, 2019

Despite my nerves, the days leading up to April 16th were nothing short of exciting. Never once did I find myself second guessing my choice of taking up this life-changing opportunity of eleven days in Italy. Eleven days in a foreign country with people I didn’t know well, yet this is what made the trip even more exciting. I’ve come to realize that regardless of how much I prepared for this adventure, I truly wasn’t ready for how much of an impact it would have on my perspective of the world.

Although completely exhausted and jet-lagged from a full day of travel, the moment I stepped foot into Venice, I knew there was something very special about it. I fell in love. Every island we explored had its own authenticity within. Being that it is completely based around the water which it is built upon, Venetian culture has a uniqueness and beauty all its own. One that can only thoroughly be understood through experience, even if it only happens to be three days.
As we ventured our way down the peninsula via bus, the beauty, history, and art surrounding us continuously unfolded. Coming from a small town such as our own, entering the bustling city of Florence was breathtaking. Every aspect of the city from its food to the architecture was nothing like I’ve ever seen or tasted before. There were times in Florence where it felt like I was in a fairytale. I’d be standing in the middle of a town square, with a beautiful cathedral to my left and a violinist to my right and the daily life of Florence continuously surrounding and moving around me.

After four jaw-dropping days in Florence, we made our way down to the former center of the world, Rome. Experiencing three days in Rome is experiencing more than three centuries of history. It was here that at one point in time, emperors ruled and the strongest of armies marched. I’m humbled and grateful for being able to experience what is left of this significant piece of history. The architecture, culture and all aspects of Roman life were spectacular. While in Rome, we took the time to visit the small country of Vatican City. It was here that we got to see The Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, both of which are too beautiful to put into words.

Having the chance to travel abroad is more than just being in another country, it is becoming a part of and adapting to the culture of the country as well. Experiences such as these are crucial in fostering an individual to grow, and gives them whole new perspectives on the world. I recommend taking adventures such as these to people of all calibers, because regardless, it changes you for the better. Italy truly opened my eyes, giving me the privilege of being a part of a bigger world outside of our little town.

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