Living in a foreign country for a period of time has sparked a wide array of emotions and experiences that I have never before had. Like the title states, my time here in Ariccia, Italy so far has been awkward yet awesome. A healthy balance between these two is essential for personal and professional development during my time abroad and as the days pass I am able to say that each one brings more awkwardness and awesomeness along.
I can’t expect my new life in Italy to be exactly the same as it was in Auburn, Alabama; I definitely knew it would be different. But as I’ve settled in and continue to explore more of the country, there are for sure many unavoidable awkward experiences that I have encountered and will proceed to have as the program moves along. For example, ordering my morning “latte” expecting espresso and milk but getting simply hot milk served in a coffee cup was awkward. I quickly found out that “latte” translates to “milk” in Italian, therefore understanding that I have actually just ordered ordinary, straightforward milk.
I’ve noticed that since I have been here, I have stopped waiting for things to happen and am simply just living. Along with all the incredible sights and experiences so far on the program, I have learned so much about myself and that in itself is awesome. Surviving and thriving out of my comfort zone has helped me learn that I am capable of much more than I thought I was before this program. Navigating a foreign airport alone, learning how to get around on new transportation, and figuring out how to achieve daily tasks with a language barrier are essential tasks that I have had no choice but to unambiguously do. I’m grateful that I have had the opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone and learn that it can bring countless awesome and awkward opportunities.