I will forever be inspired by the passion of this culture. Upon arriving in Italy, I eagerly anticipated traveling every weekend to a new and exotic place— traveling as much as I could. But, I quickly realized that I did not need to travel far to have the experiences that I wanted. In fact, the days I stayed in Ariccia or took the train into Rome were my most memorable.
The simple and slow evenings in Italy taught me to leave my phone at home. Italians do not live through screens, they live out every simple moment. They focus not on a screen, but on the eyes of the people around them. They enjoy the pure and savory tastes of their food and thrive on building lasting relationships.
As much as I constantly wanted to capture every moment through pictures, I realized I was missing out on appreciating the moment. One of our lecturers told us in class that Italians don’t eat alone, and I found this very true. They constantly choose to surround themselves with people they love by enjoying a meal together. When one is surrounded by good company there is no need to document every detail.
After learning to embrace the uncertainty of communicating, getting around, and honoring the culture, I realize that being in a foreign country is difficult. As I create my own path towards contentment, I will begin to challenge myself to exercise my heart by understanding and experiencing how Italians really live out their happiness. I have learned to enjoy the present as it comes and put my agenda behind me.