Life is a Highway (Made of Cobblestones)

When I first walked down the corso of Ariccia, I noticed the old-style streets that pave the way for cars and passersby alike. Looking at swaths of cobblestone everyday has inspired me to view life in a new way. And no, I don’t mean it in the sense that wearing stiletto heels around Italy probably isn’t the best idea. Rather, what I mean is that as I walk on the cobblestone streets of Italy, I realize that each moment of my life is like a cobblestone, making up the highway of my life (insert Rascal Flatts song here). 

I find this to be a fitting comparison, as the many cobblestoned streets in this country have witnessed so many people, all on their own paths, paying little mind to the stones supporting their feet as they make their journey. The moments of my life are similar. They make up who I am and all play a role in how my life will continue, affecting the decisions I make and the relationships that I build. As I break down this comparison even more, I find myself recalling certain moments that have been instrumental in forming my cobblestone path, and I know that many more stones will be added during my semester in Italy. 

So far, collecting stones for my path has been easy here in Italy. Each experience is so new and fascinating, and they shape the way that I view the world around me. A moment doesn’t have to seem big and important for it to become a stone. A particular moment that stands out to me is from my first weekend trip during the program. I traveled with a group of classmates to Florence, and as I sat down on the train, I realized that I was traveling abroad for the first time as an adult, without my family to help along the way. This wave of independence crashed into me and I became so excited to continue this journey of personal growth as I branch out on my own. That feeling in my heart formed a stone to be added to my cobbled street.

During the remainder of my time in Italy, I look forward to having new experiences and turning a moment of my life into something that will stay with me forever. And when I am long gone from Ariccia, I will revisit these moments, just like how I walk down cobble-stoned streets in the town that I now call home. 


Grace Reilein

A photo of me from my trip to Florence. This was such a fun day and I made so many stones to add to my cobblestone street that weekend.