The glaring spots from street lights flew past me at a momentous speed. I was barreling into the darkness with a concerned look on my face. “Had I gotten on the wrong midnight train to the Pisa airport for my flight to Paris?” I had seen no one that I was supposed to be traveling with and, I was traveling to a foreign country alone, again.
I sat there in my dimly lit coach holding my backpack tight and my purse even tighter. I felt my eyelids droop a bit and was about to fall asleep when I heard a man shuffling down the aisle and into the seat facing mine. All I could thing of was, “not again.” Read the rest of this page »
My last weekend abroad ended with me traveling by myself on a train to Pisa that Friday, on a train to Venice on Saturday with a group of fellow students, and by bus and train to Cinque Terre with a cheap tour guide group. I snapped a lot of pictures, got soaked to the bone standing in the rain waiting for a gondola ride in Venice, and hiked from the town of Vernazza to Monterosso al Mare.
In Vernazza I “cliff jumped” off a small rock into the Italian sea and befriended five girls from Florida who were also studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Together, four of us hiked up steep mountain cliffs under the Ligurian sun and swam in Monterosso’s salty ocean for hours before traveling back to Florence.
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“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves, and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again—to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.” Pico Iyer
I dragged my large suitcase off of the airport’s baggage claim conveyer belt and rolled it out of the Italian airport in Florence and into a cab. I spent the next several minutes looking out of the taxi’s window as everything sped by. It was the first time that I had ever really left the country, and had no clue what to expect.
It took a while, by my new roommates and I started to understand the ways of the Italians. At times we would tell ourselves that we loved everything about the country that we were currently residing in, and at other times we felt homesick for familiar things waiting for us back in the United States.Read the rest of this page »