It’s Finally My Turn.
As my friends slowly dissipate to their respective colleges, I have only had more time to wonder about the semester to come. For a while I was doubtful of whether or not I would actually be able to leave at all- with five days left to go and no visa, it was looking pretty bleak. But all is well now thanks to a very friendly mailman and a not-so-surprisingly ridiculous looking passport picture. (Really though, who doesn’t look sweaty and angry in their walgreens photoshoot)? Anyway, it’s off to Italy in three days, and despite what everyone says about preparing early, I have stuck to my old ways and saved all the packing for last minute. My mom really loves that about me.
So what have I wondered about Italy, you ask? Well, I only get as far as the airport to tell you the truth- as I have never before been to Italy and have never before traveled abroad. Since I’m going overseas, I imagine there will be one of those fancy touch screens on the back of the seats to play with… that should keep me entertained for a couple of hours at least. Then I wonder a little harder, and imagine missing the bus that is supposed to be both the group’s means of transportation from the airport in Rome to Siena (which is approximately three hours long) as well as the on-site orientation. Missing the bus is actually pretty likely, considering my plane gets in at 12:40 pm and the bus leaves at 1:00. Lavina and Mike (my program leaders) thankfully emailed some very detailed instructions on how to find your own ride in case such an unfortunate incident were to happen. We’ll see what happens!
As I really haven’t been able to imagine what the program might be like, I have had some trouble actually grasping the fact that I am leaving. I have wanted to go to Italy for as long as I can remember, and my dad’s side of the family is extremely Italian, so it’s not like this is a new concept for me; I have experienced shades of Italian culture in from I miei Nonni (my grandparent’s), but have no clue as to what I should actually expect. My nonna, (grandmother), is pretty opposed to my plans to travel. She’s a worrier. I heard some pretty stereotypical stories about Italian men that were supposed to deter me from going to Italy- but in actuality they just made me laugh, as her thick italian accent rambled off american words that I didn’t even think she knew. (Enough said on that front).
All in all, I am incredibly excited to leave and experience the culture that I have heard so much about but has (thus far) been unobtainable in full. I can’t wait to meet my Sienese host family, to begin service work, to start classes, and to meet new people… My friends and I have this long running joke that it is finally my turn to travel abroad: almost all of them have already studied all over the world in places such as India, Costa Rica, Israel, and France- and I am the last one to go.