A Birthday Abroad

Sweet little Birthday note I received!!

I turned twenty-two while abroad here in Italy. At home, I do not really do anything special but go to dinner with my family at their favorite restaurant (mellow mushroom). I did not expect to celebrate or acknowledge my birthday to seventeen strangers while here, especially after only knowing these people for like a week. Upon our arrival to the palace, I was shocked to see “ADA’S BDAY” marked on the calendar. I wasn’t going to be able to fly under the radar for my birthday. Days leading up, my fellow classmates kept asking me what I wanted to do anything, and I told them we don’t have to do anything. It seemed like doing something would be out of the way for all of us since we had work to get done. 

On my birthday, my peers would casual wish me a “happy birthday” throughout the day. We were in school for most of the day and afterwards we all planned to stay in and work on our journals to keep up to date. Around midday, our TA, Caroline, came into the kitchen to tell me I had received mail. I was over the moon thinking it was my photo printer pages for my assignment. I walked into the living room and the mail was not an amazon prime package. It was a little card. All of the girls took the time to write me a happy birthday. I didn’t think I needed that. I told everyone that I didn’t want anything, but the simple birthday card made me realize that the other girls in this program and I are in this program for the long haul. That night we went to the neighboring town of Albano to hang out with the locals at some restaurant to celebrate my birthday,

I realized I was an ocean away from my home, my family, and friends were time zones away, and I was having a blast with new friends in my new favorite place on Earth. Here’s to twenty-two. 

By: Ada Folmar