I have been in Italy for over a month now. Just when I think I have gotten the hang of things, like remembering which laundry day is mine, booking flights, making travel plans, grocery shopping in a foreign country, or anything else for that matter, reality comes and hits me right in my face. For example, I have traveled in some form every weekend since I have been here, whether it has been by train, bus, taxi, or plane. Therefore, I have gotten pretty good at planning and booking things correctly. So, when I booked my flight for Switzerland, I was so confident and excited for the weekend ahead of me. My friends and I taxied to the airport and I went to check-in for my flight and the kind woman working for the airline politely informed me that I had missed my flight that had taken off 24 hours prior and there were no open flights leaving that day to Switzerland. So, needless to say, my friends went to Switzerland without me and I was left with no weekend plans because I had accidentally booked my flight for the wrong day, and to make it better, there were no refunds available.
Things like this are going to happen. We are all young students who still have lessons to learn. Instead of getting caught up in what all can and will go wrong, it is such a valuable lesson to learn how to “laugh it off”. If I get upset and miserable about every little thing, I make everyone else around me miserable as well. And no one wants to be miserable when you are living in Italy for 3 months. I ended up taking a day trip and having a relaxing weekend in Ariccia for the remainder of the weekend, instead of sulking in the mistake I had made.
So, whenever we book a wrong flight, forget a passport, get our phones stolen (because this will happen to at least one person), or forget to pack our favorite jeans, we look for a way to get past it and laugh it off with the people around us. JSB study abroad is such an amazing experience and our stories are so much better to tell since we are laughing about them instead of crying. Attitude is everything!
-Sara Hensley JSB Spring 2020