Monthly Archives: August 2009

Getting orientated.

So, I’ve only been in Rome for a day and a half, but it already feels like it’s been so much longer; I guess in part just because there’s been a LOT going on.

My journey to Rome went fairly well. I actually had a little bit of trouble with my flight to Chicago, but even that worked out fine. The flight to Rome was long, as expected, but it ended early and all of my luggage arrived safety, so I really can’t complain! Side note: on Alitalia Airlines, they serve free wine with your meal. Only in Italy…

Once we arrived at the Rome Center, everyone had to register, then I got to meet my roommate and start unpacking. We had a few other orientation type meetings yesterday, then last night I went with a group of people from here to eat at a local restaurant. The food was wonderful, of course; there was just a lot of it! We also walked around the neighborhood, and I’m trying to get acclumated with the area. Right now, it’s still pretty confusing, but I know I’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

All of the people that I’ve met so far seem really nice, and I really think this is going to be a great semester. I’m really excited to be here, even though I am less excited about starting class, but even that should be interesting.

Today we all spent the day the beach, which was wonderful of course! I did get a little sunburnt, but nothing too bad. In a little bit, I’m going to go to get gelato with a group of people near the Vatican! The place we’re going to is supposed to be really famous, so I have high expectations for it. I’m honestly surprised that I’ve made it over 24 hours in Italy so far and have yet to eat gelato, but that will change soon enough. After we get gelato, I think I’m going to go downtown, which I’m equally excited for!



“Just look at that beautiful boot!”

Just a quick note to say that I have safely arrived in Rome! I’m working on getting settled in, and we have all of this orientation stuff going on, but I’m excited to be here… even if I’m dealing with jetlag at the moment.

Italy is just as beautiful as I remembered (as well as really hot). It’s so, so good to be here, but the reality that I’m going to spend the next 3.5 months living in this country has not quite sunk in yet at all… that will likely take quite some time.

More about what’s going soon, I promise.


Last moments at home.

The time has passed when studying abroad was years, semesters, months, weeks, or even days away. I fly to Rome tomorrow.

I don’t think I’ve truly comprehended that in a little over 24 hours I’m leaving the country, and I’m not coming back again for (approximately) four months. It’s just a hard idea to wrap my head around. It’s one of those things that won’t be real until I actually do it. There’s no amount of preparation that can truly make me ready for this.

I’ve been rushing around the past few days trying to finish packing (truly an ordeal), run all kinds of errands, and fit in last minute visits with lots of friends and family. This past weekend I even went up to SLU for a much-needed visit with my friends there. It was bittersweet seeing everyone all moved into their new apartments, then having to turn around and leave. The strangest part was realizing that I don’t have a place to live there this semester; instead of starting another semester there and falling into that routine, I have a whole new kind of adventure ahead of me.

I’m driving up to St. Louis tonight with my parents and staying near the airport. I fly out early tomorrow to Chicago, where I meet everyone else for the group flight, then we all fly to Rome together tomorrow afternoon. So, the next time I write in here, I’ll be in Rome!

It’s only been 3 years, but I am so ready to be back there again. Here’s to this semester and learning to be exactly where I’m supposed to be.


A few words.

“The best way to inspect the streets of Rome, if you wish to study as well as to see them, is to break your pocket-compass and burn your maps and guidebooks… take Chance for a mentor and lose yourself.”
–George Sala
“Arms, and the man I sing, who, forc’d by fate,
And haughty Juno’s unrelenting hate,
Expell’d and exil’d, left the Trojan shore,
Long labors, both by sea and land, he bore,
And in the doubtful war, before he won
The Latian realm, and built the destin’d town.”
–Virgil, The Aeneid
“Turn all the pages of history, but Fortune never produced a greater example of her own fickleness than the city of Rome, once the most beautiful and magnificent of all that ever was or will be… not a city in truth, but a certain part of heaven.”
–Poggio Bracciolini
“In Rome, you long for the country; in the country–on inconstant!–you praise the distant city to the stars!”

Counting down the days.

Rome is soon–really soon. I finally have the correct size suitcases, and I’ll be packing before I know it. Already I’ve started to set clothes aside. I’ve been reading tons of travel books, from ones that are Rome-specific to Italy to Europe and so forth. I’ve been watching movies (Roman Holiday) and re-reading other books (Eat Pray Love) that take place in Italy. I’ve been talking to everyone I know about their favorite places in Europe and compiling to-do lists. What I haven’t been doing enough of is studying Italian, but I’ve at least begun to make an effort at that, so that’s something.

I’m excited, and I’m nervous. But mainly I’m excited. I have lots of plans, of course, but I’m also trying to remind myself to stay flexible. In many ways, I have no clue what to expect, but that’s part of the charm of the study abroad experience, at least as I see it. I’m really just trying to stay open to all options and possibilities and to take advantage of as many things as I can, while still retaining some type of balance. It’s going to be a lot to juggle–schoolwork, new friendships, a new country, continuing to learn Italian, traveling, keeping up with my friends & family back in the US, documenting my trip (which is where this come in, of course), and so forth. However, I’m (almost) ready for the challenge. At least as ready as I’ll ever be.

17 days. It will be here before I know it.