Sprinting down towards platform 20B of Roma Termini, held back by the contents of the weekend’s travel pack, and watching as the last train of the night departs the station is truly a humbling experience. But missing the train isn’t the end of the world and realizing this has helped me learn in ways beyond just making it home to Ariccia by curfew.
Living in Italy, surrounded by so many unfamiliar things, has been a lot of trial and error. I was only able to prepare myself so much, some things just have to be lived and learned. I couldn’t count how many times, especially at the beginning of the semester, a store clerk would tell me something at the counter and I just stared back blankly for a moment. But constantly struggling at the store prompted me to spend more time learning phrases in Italian that would help me better interact when shopping. But that’s just one of many slip-ups. There have also been times, like last weekend when I told myself that only packing my two most uncomfortable shoes for a weekend in Milan was a good idea. But, lo and behold, I was buying a new pair of sneakers Saturday afternoon. Just like missing the last train to Albano prompted me to be more aware of timing and planning during train transfers, I am learning so many other mini-lessons along the way.
I was bound to experience slip-ups traveling internationally. But a few bad experiences catching a train should never stop anyone from trying again. It’s all about learning from my mistakes. A new adventure is just a stop away, just make sure to get off at the right one.