This study abroad experience has been wonderful and eye-opening in countless amazing ways. I knew, going into this program, that it would be a season of learning and growth while being immersed in a new culture and navigating how to live in a foreign place. Even though I came into this semester unsure of what to expect, a common theme that I have picked up on while being here is to expect the unexpected and to be okay with whatever that may be.
When traveling, things have often not gone as we had hoped, thought, or planned, and the best way to get through these seemingly frustrating moments is to laugh it off, shrug it off, and figure out what’s next.
I’ve learned that some of these moments will end up becoming some of my most hilarious memories, my best stories that I’ll be able to tell for years to come, and have led me to find and do things that I would otherwise never have. Putting a smile on my face or stopping myself from speaking out loud that negative thought that pops into my head goes a pretty far way in making the best of a situation.
In many ways, this is a large part of Italian culture and one of the sweet, sweet beauties of the way of life in Italy – to not sweat the small stuff, to make the most of every moment, and to enjoy the now, whatever that may be. So, go with the flow and ‘trova la gioia’ – find the joy in every situation, because I promise that there is a little bit of joy everywhere, if you just look (especially in Italy!).
Sending happiness from Italy!