The Red Checkered Diary

We have officially begun our fifth week abroad in Italy, meaning I have spent more than a month away from the U.S. I feel like I just arrived, and at the exact same time, like I have been here for much longer. One month down, two to go. In just one month, I have traveled throughout Italy, to the Netherlands, as well as Germany. I have experienced the challenges of beginning to learn a new language, traveling by public transport and the inevitable travel fails that sometimes you cannot control. My credit card was hacked and my airline lost my luggage all within a weekend away – despite these hardships, Amsterdam was my favorite place I had visited yet! A month in, I am finally well adjusted to my new Italian way of life of fieldtrips, class days, checking budget travel sites, and ordering pizza in Italian.

The highlight of my experience so far had been traveling to the Netherlands with a classmate. Amsterdam, as described by my airbnb host and Dutch native, was ‘dazzling’. This city was diverse, culturally significant and beautiful. The iconic architecture of the buildings surrounded by canals, the pancakes and stroopwafels, as well as visiting the Anne Frank House all made my short weekend in Holland one I will never forget. I will always cherish the opportunity to see where Anne Frank and her family hid during World War II, the museum was touching, heartbreaking, inspiring, and most of all worth the two-hour wait. After reading the Diary of Anne Frank in school years before, seeing her original little red checkered diary in Amsterdam was a very special experience and made me incredibly thankful for the opportunity to study, learn and travel through Auburn Abroad.

The Amsterdam Canals

Bailey Mersereau