Coming off the midterm break I could not have been more sunburned, tired ,or worn out from a week packed with traveling. That being said, I would not change a thing from the past week, as it was full of amazing adventures and memories. Midterm break felt so far away these past few weeks, so as my family left, it was strange to realize it was over. I am now halfway done with this amazing experience. While my midterm break was packed with activities, I can say my family did it right. Living by the common idea of “once you fly to Europe, you might as well go everywhere” was the driving factor of everywhere I went. Starting in London, we traveled to Venice, Florence, Siena, Naples, Sorrento, Rome, Genzano, Ariccia, and lastly Albano. Due to this extensive travel, I can happily say I learned quite a few things over the break with my family.
- Plan out a dinner or two. I say this lightly because it can be hard to do in advance, but when we had been traveling for 5+ hours my family loved that I was so prepared. Yelp is my new best friend! We had some great meals at the highly rated restaurants on their site.
- Know some Italian.Personally being able to orders meal or drinks in Italian is one of the most satisfying and impressive things I am able to do. I studied up and attempted to use everything I had learned while with my family.
- Pay attention on the tours around Rome. My family loves history, art ,and planning. That being said, I had to constantly “lead the way” and even recite some facts about every sight. While I knew simple things about landmarks such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, or Pantheon, some of their questions were left unanswered.
- Don’t overpack. Being an Apparel Merchandising major, I have a wide selection of clothes. Therefore when going on long trips… I overpack. The biggest thing I learned over break was that I need to spend more time planning out what to bring on trips. I was left with a bag full of clothes I never wore and without jackets or shoes I needed because they took up too much space.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: It’s fun to see every sight, but sometimes just relax. My family had never been to Italy or London so coming in we aimed to see every historical landmark. While amazing, this leads to heat exhaustion, hangriness, and even falling face-forward into the streets of London while running to a church before it closes. The best part of our whole trip, in my opinion, was simply swimming and laying out in Sorrento for hours. It was simple, but so much fun and very relaxing.
All that being said, this trip flew by. I have learned to enjoy the small stuff, pay attention in class and on tours, and take adventures around Italy. There are so many amazing places at our fingertips, some even within walking distance. But most of all, I have learned to relax and just let life happen. Italy is full of adventures, and I have loved the ones I have had so far and look forward to more to come.