MeganMason's Travel Journals

MeganMason

 
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Learning the language!

  • From United States
  • Currently in West Virginia, United States

Open Arms

Inner thoughts of me

Open Arms

Italy Perugia, Italy  |  Jan 30, 2012
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   With the last day in the United States I trembled with fear and with excitement. I was ready for the new adventures Italy would bring me, but I was terrified of how I would feel with leaving the people I loved and cared for behind me. What will I do when I need someone to lean on? What if I just wanted to have a great laugh with my friends? However, I fell asleep with the thoughts of knowing I will try my best to keep in touch with home, but to also make new connections in Italy.

       Now I’m in Italy, surrounded by ancient buildings, panoramic views, new people, and a new way of life. After recuperating from jet lag, I was able to see things from a new eye. I never in my life imagined being so in love with the history, the religion, and the culture. Everywhere I turned there was some story to be told. The stairs off to the left of Via Del Priori, for example, was where people who misbehaved sat chained together at the neck had tomatoes thrown at them. Or, if you saw a door without any stairs leading to it, you know that was where dead bodies were thrown out at night. It is absolutely astonishing to be able to actually see and touch these medieval times.

         After classes started and being overwhelmed with learning Italian, I started to have bad days. However, people at home ask, “how can you have a bad day? You are in Italy for Christ sake!” Just because I am living in a new place does not mean I cannot have a bad day. Think about it, I am in a different country, I do not know anyone, I do not know the culture, and I am still adjusting to the new ways of daily living. Won’t these different things combined make me feel worse if I am already feeling down? Sometimes people need to stop and think for one split second, beautiful scenery does not always help someone feel like they belong, or that they can make it through the day, let alone three and a half months. I am to the point now though, that I feel comfortable in Italy, or at least in Perugia.

        People ask students all the time, why did we decide to study abroad? Are you attempting to run away from something? Do you plan to find another side of yourself? When someone asks me this, I do not have an answer. However, one day after class I sat down and thought about it. I thought about my time at Marietta College last semester and realized I was burnt out. I wanted out of school, I wanted out of my responsibilities, and I just wanted to be free. My time in Italy will hold a special place in my heart; for I will only be responsible for my academics and to explore Italy. I will not have three jobs, I will not be taking care of others, and I will not be worrying about bills. Can you just imagine how reliving that might feel to someone who has had more responsibility in her life than she thought possible at a young age? I can now see why I wanted to go abroad, and I am not ashamed of it. The next time someone asks me, I will tell them that I needed a change in my life.

         I know only a select few people will fully understand what I am talking about, but that’s okay. I have only been in Italy for a month now, so I am still adjusting. I am making sure I am exploring, that I am meeting new people, and that I am cherishing each moment I am here. For now, Italy is my home and I welcome it with open arms.

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  • Open Arms

    January 30, 2012
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