Three years ago I set out to not only leave the country for the very first time, but live in a different one for four months. I had only been to an airport twice in my life and didn't have a clue what I was about to do. In those four months I not only learned who I was, but how to be the best version of that person. I came home with a confidence in life and a newfound spirit of adventure and exploring the unknown. For anyone who is thinking of studying abroad or has the chance to go on an extended trip, I say pack your bags and don't look back.

I kept an endless record of my time in Roma. Journals, sketchbooks, photos and a blog. (This post and this one mainly summarize my trip). Anyway, I took a trip down memory lane the other day and went through some of my sketchbooks, I found the above written in a note to myself. I remember scribbling down the words while sitting on my bed, all alone and only hours away from going back to the US, it was quiet and I of course was crying and no where near ready to leave. My heart swelled up with nostalgia as I put four months of learning into one single sentence. I had some crazy mishaps in my time abroad; I fell from a three story bunk bed, missed buses, almost missed trains and planes, slept in airports, sprinted through the streets, had a mysterious itchy rash that covered my body, got crazy lost, swam in a fountain, was rip-roaring drunk, messed up travel plans, made new best friends and lost old ones. Those moments, those mistakes, they are the ones that made my trip. They made for the best stories, the ones that can make people laugh so hard they cry, and the reasons I learned so much. This thought doesn't just apply to my time abroad, but for the rest of my life… No one wants to hear how amazing something was, they want to hear how you almost missed the train or got lost in the streets or danced in a fountain.


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