Just a Train Ride Away

Travel in my opinion is really what brings your study abroad experience to the next level.  You crank out so much money, and travel so far to come start your life in a new destination.  However, upon arriving you learn just how cheap, and how close other new, exciting places are to you.  You have to make sure you don’t go too travel crazy, but with study abroad, the world really is your oyster.  Or for any Friends fans, the world is your tub of ice cream and just like Ross we all must leave our comfort zones, and grab a spoon.

MK, Taylor, and I take on the Duomo!

MK, Taylor, and I take on the Duomo!

Now keep in mind I have only been away from the United States for three weeks, but I already have been so many places, and have so many more trips planned.  I have been around Milan, because you really should explore your home and become familiar with where you live.  I love Milan, and can’t wait to explore it even further!  Visiting other places also put my life in Milan in perspective, and I do not take for granted a single second how blessed I am to live here!

Touching Giulietta's right breast is a sign of good luck in love

Touching Giulietta’s right breast is a sign of good luck in love

Beyond Milan, I have also tackled the famous V Italian cities: Verona, and Venice.  As for Verona, what they say is true, Verona really is the city of love.  I was enamored by the culture that Verona had to offer.  LOVE is in the air, in this little Shakespearean utopia.  I made sure to touch both Juliet’s right breast, as well as write a note to her for her wall.  I think Juliet’s wall was one of my favorite things about Verona.  It is just cool to see how many people have written to her, and then to become a part of that.

#NPsocial in Venice for Carnival

#NPsocial in Venice for Carnival

The key word for my trip to Venice was: adventure.  That was the only way to describe it.  Our ESN network at school offered a trip to Venice for Carnival, however unfortunately it filled up rather fast.  Fellow New Paltz Hawk, Kara, and I were determined to experience carnival in Venice, truly a once in a lifetime experience.  For me as cheesy as it may have been, this article that I received via email months ago was one of my driving factors behind the voyage: http://ilovefreeconcerts.com/20-amazing-festivals-around-world-must-see-die/

Kara and I did make it to Venice for carnival, which is all I could have ever asked for!  The energy in Venice was just so electric, I was so in awe of the fact we had made it there.  Plus spending Valentines Day like this wasn’t too shabby either.  Don’t worry, I made sure to bring Kara some chocolate earlier that morning, because every girl deserves to have some chocolate on Valentines day.

Rainy day in Lugano!

Rainy day in Lugano!

Next up was my first trip out of Italy, however still by train.  Ironically enough traveling to Switzerland proved to be even closer then any of our Italian voyages.  I went to Lugano.  Despite the weather not compromising with us, paying in Franks as opposed to Euros, and one miscommunication where I set off an emergency exit, I bought countless bars of Swiss chocolate & hot chocolate mix at the Schokoland and ate countless free samples.  Being quite the chocoholic, this really made the trip worth it.

I am ready for many more adventures, all I can say is bring it on!  These once and a lifetime opportunities will not be taken for granted by me.  I am just ready for whatever comes next.  Thanks for reading!

Till next time, I leave you with this photo of the magic that is Juliet’s wall in Verona:

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Ciao USA

It is strange how many mixed emotions one feels before they get ready to study abroad.  I felt every single emotion humanly possible all at once.  I was excited about traveling to Italy, a place I have never been before, and have always dreamed of going.  I was nervous about the language barrier, having never learned a single word of Italian.  I was in anticipation of the carb haven which awaited me.  The month before I left flew right on by, especially because my mother was off to Hawaii for 2 weeks prior to my departure.  I also wanted to make sure I said all my goodbyes, and then some.  I ventured up to New Paltz for a few nights to say goodbye to everyone there, because by the time I fly home their semester will have ended.  I was also very grateful for the wonderful friends in my life who attended my going away party in Queens.

Saying goodbye to my summer staff at Asian Fusion

Saying goodbye to my summer staff at Asian Fusion

Sisters of Kappa Alpha Gamma chapter of Kappa Delta Phi N.A.S. at my going away party

Sisters of Kappa Alpha Gamma chapter of Kappa Delta Phi N.A.S. at my going away party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luckily, just by chance I was flying on the same flight as another New Paltz student, Kara, so I had the comfort of knowing I would not be alone upon my arrival.  I was also fortunate enough to have the knowledge that the housing service in Milan would be at the airport upon arrival to whisk us off to our individual apartments.  Considering my lack of prior exposure to the Italian language, these were blessings for me.

Selfie with Kara at the airport

Selfie with Kara at the airport

There was a lot that had to be done before I left.  My flight was the same day as the Super Bowl, which was unfortunate however, Milan trumps football any day.  My parents took me to the airport, and I was off to the biggest adventure of my life.

Saying goodbye to my dad at the airport

Saying goodbye to my dad at the airport

Kisses from my mom at the airport

Kisses from my mom at the airport