One travelers adventures
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This summer I was able to study abroad in Italy. I had no idea what I was getting myself into other than I thought I’d finally be able to satisfy a wonder lust starvation. Within hours of being in Sorrento, I was intimidated and scared and thought I had made a horrible decision. I knew no one and was at least 12 hours away from my friends and family. Terrified and tired, I slept the entire ride from the airport to the apartment, missing the beautiful scenery of the Amalfi coast.
We got to our apartment and with my new roommates, we immediately went out to dinner. Five strangers sat around a table and talked about colleges, ex’s, and past adventures. An hour later, we had a trip planned for the upcoming weekend to go to Mt. Vesuvius. Complete strangers, and we had already committed to a weekend together, not even knowing if we would get along or not. At the time, I didn’t realize that commitment to travel together would continue throughout our summer in Italy.
After our trips to Mt. Vesuvius and Capri, we all felt ready to take on more. We adventured to Florence and after missing our train and panicking for an hour, we somehow made it to our Airbnb. With the help of an old teacher, we toured leather factories and famous churches. The heat was almost unbearable, and we almost got heat stroke from walking around the city with no water. But it was a sickness we endured together and somehow sitting on a curb with Powerade and Monster brought us all closer.
The weekend after Florence, we went to Rome and got rained on as we waited to go into St. Peter’s Basilica. After, we walked miles to the Trevi fountain and then the Spanish steps. After a very late dinner we decided to do our whole walking tour, again, at midnight. We bought a bottle of Prosecco and poured it into McDonald’s cups that we dumped empty of Sprite. We sipped on our drinks, and walked from the Trevi Fountain to the Basilica and then four more miles to our apartment. After almost getting locked out, we got in and checked our fitness apps to discover in one day, we walked about twenty five miles. I couldn’t walk the next day and the blisters left me with scars on my feet. But it’s something I would do again in a heartbeat, same shoes and all.
Weeks later and halfway through the second session, my college roommate flew into Naples to meet me for the weekend. We both have an intense and almost insane love for music. Much to our delight, one of the largest festival tours was happening in a country that was a 60€ and hour flight away. We spent the weekend screaming all night in Croatia to our favorite artists at Ultra. By the third day of no sleep and constant standing or walking, I began to get sick and constantly felt sore. Still coughing and sneezing, we scream sang our favorite songs until the sun came up. I came home with bruises and a horrible fever that caused me to not leave my apartment for two days. Even with the pain and disease that plagued me that weekend, it was probably one of my favorite memories of this trip. I met so many amazing people and had such a unique experience that not many people could say they had too.
After nine weeks of constant moving, my Sant’Anna roommates and I decided we deserved a much needed relaxing spa weekend. We headed on a plane to Marrakech, Morocco to make the most of our last weekend abroad. Around 11 at night we landed and headed to our riad, a type of villa, and settled for a good nights sleep. The next morning we wandered the crowded streets and saw marketplaces and palaces. We bargained for soaps, lotions, pillows, and purses. For the hottest hours of the day, we went back to our riad to cool off and regroup for our nightlife excursions. Our second day was more relaxed, we visited secret gardens before we had an afternoon filled with the relaxation of a spa day. We first started in a Turkish bath to cool off, and then moved to a steam room that allows for your pores to open before you are scrubbed free of dead skin. It was significantly hotter than I realized, and after about 30 minutes I felt faint. Luckily, this is when we moved to a much cooler room where we had an hour long massage, perfect for relaxing. After this, we went back to our rooms for a much needed nap and got ready for dinner and then bed. Being on a new continent definitely was a unique bonding experience for all of us. After being in Europe for so long, we weren’t sure of what to expect while in Africa. We luckily had the time of our life and had an amazing experience.
This summer I was able to have more adventures than I could have ever dreamed of. Many of my fellow students were also able to have similar adventures to mine to fill up a unique summer. We all had different experiences and went different places with new people. In the last few days of our program, some wish they could go to one last place or see one last thing. But I know many students who wouldn’t have changed anything about this summer and had the experience of a lifetime.
Every new place we went to we learned something about a culture and about ourselves. I began to appreciate our small town of Sorrento and soon realized just how much it had to offer. With only a few days left, everyone now tries to make the most of every second of every hour. Jamming the things they love most about Italy into a week before were forced to go home. We never truly appreciate what we have until we’re losing it and this has become apparent as we get ready to leave.