During the past 3 weeks in Ariccia, I have learned a very important lesson: open your mind and step out of your comfort zone.
I will not forget the first few days in the small town of Ariccia. I was dumbfounded by the buildings, the view from the bridge, the art, and of course by the food. I remember being overwhelmed by the cultural differences and almost timid to fully immerse myself. I have come to realize how important it is to open my mind and appreciate every piece of this town and the culture surrounding it. Some of my favorite times here are when we are able to interact with actual residents of the Castelli Romani. For example, when we visited the high school I was blessed with the opportunity of meeting a group of fourth-year girls and hearing their thoughts on their hometowns, learning about their day-to-day activities and having the opportunity to compare it with my thoughts on my hometown and day-to-day activities. This experience was so impactful to me because I was able to learn from girls that were close in age to me about the way others live outside of my comfort zone and outside of my bubble.
I have not been in Ariccia long, but this experience is beginning to make me not just change the way I see the world, but actually see the world and appreciate places that are outside of my bubble and my comfort zone. I am looking forward to learning more important life lessons over the weeks to come!