Time really flies when you’re having fun, I am already a little more than a month in and it felt like yesterday that I landed! I finally had my first week of classes, and I feel an outline of a routine forming in my day-to-day functions, which is very comforting. The main points of note though came from my Spring Break planning with my sister, the Coronavirus, and the Colusseum. To preface my experience: I heard multiple times since arriving to Italy, even in class, that much of society functions through the connections one has rather than by procedure or “by the book” so-to-speak. Feeling inspired, when my half-sister (featured with me on the left), who has been trying to develop a good relationship with me and vice-versa (because our family is complicated), offered to help plan and pay for it, I thought to myself, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
I can already feel the impending anxiety that will occur in trying to use my Eurail pass, but I’m ready to face it and learn! In finalizing my Spring Break itinerary, I felt a huge relief that I had my sister as a resource to ease the stress of planning it all on my own;. I’m very lucky and privileged that my sister is a connection I can utilize. But, then the thought hit me of, “What if I didn’t have my sister to help me plan my Spring Break?” Before my sister offered to help plan my Spring Break, I was completely on my own—I had no one going with me, a finite amount of money, and limited solo-travel experience. It was so much anxiety and fear of missing out that bubbled within me, and I’m sure in anyone within the same circumstances. To those who do find themselves in that situation, I recommend that you plan everything in ADVANCE. I believe that I would have been okay in the end if I didn’t have my sister, I would have just been a little more stressed out (and may or may not have settled for a set plan through a travel company if I felt way too overwhelmed).
But, try as I may to travel as much as possible, the issue of the Coronavirus has been of real concern. Our school had to cancel our class trip to Florence, which makes me a little sad, and the amount of hysteria over it has been very overwhelming at times. There might even be travel restrictions to countries on my itinerary, for both Spring Break and general travel. Of course I will take every precaution I can so I don’t get infected, but I must say that it is slightly discouraging with the possibility of not being able to travel—and even more with possibly being sent back to the U.S. BUT, nevertheless, I will peregrinate during my time here in Europe! Now that I have my sister by my side, who is very determined to make sure I have the chance to travel while abroad, despite the Coronavirus, I feel very encouraged to stay positive. I was even more encouraged when I lived another dream of seeing the Colosseum. It felt unreal, with so many childhood memories of television adaptations of it and school lessons revolving around it flooding back to me. I got to see another ancient site in RomThe more I discover about Rome, the more I fall in love with it! Even when there is fear, the history and ancient sites are still here!