Home for the Weekend
(Written for the Iowa State Study Abroad Center)
“Be a tourist in your own city!”
(this is either good or bad?)
With the upcoming weekends fully booked, I decided to head home after our school trips to Naples and Pompeii. Rome is starting to feel a little less overwhelming and a lot more like a home away from home. After our days chasing buses and nights sleeping on trains, nothing sounded better than my little twin bed and the buzz of the city outside my window. Sunday morning, I woke to a variety of colored tents pitched below our window. It turns out, every Sunday there is a flea market right outside our apartment where local vendors showcase anything from vintage rings (totally bought one) to American classic rock on vinyl. A Sunday in Rome was just what we needed.
Day to day life can be underrated, but not when it consists of my classic three cups of coffee (and cappuccinos), a daily spotify playlist, and a large chunk of dark chocolate. The weekdays are crammed with schoolwork, touring the beautiful city of Rome, and running/walking off the carbs from the weekend before. I found a set of staircases down the street that I have been using as my daily running trail and the very top overlooks the entire city of Rome. Breathtaking. Literally. I also joined the local Crossfit gym since apparently young girls aren’t suppose to run alone in the dark (Hi mom and dad). I have been strictly a runner since my high school weight training days were over, so crossfit is something new to me. Luckily, my Italian coaches are very helpful and super badass so I am being challenged and improving everyday.
School is great: my professors are some of the most down to earth, soul inspiring, life encouraging kind of people. You can look for my upcoming projects on sustainability and how I am trying to view tourism in a positive way.
Between going to class, traveling on the weekends, and living in the same room, my friends and I are learning a lot about each other. From our mood swings to our personal quirks, we are getting to the bottom of what makes us who we are. Patience is everything as we are adapting to this new environment of so many different personalities. But, I know that these are once in a lifetime friends, the l have your back no matter what kind of friends. Friends that have a similar desire to absorb everything around us.
Friends from home are also keeping in touch. Social media can be the perfect way to showcase how “perfect” your life is. People keep asking how studying abroad is and they keep saying, “Wow, it looks like you are having the time of your life!” Truth is, I am, and I am so grateful, but that doesn’t mean life is anywhere near perfect or that I don’t experience real life situations, heartbreaks, and the stress that comes with being in your 20s.
Life over here isn’t all about the extravagant weekends in other countries, it’s about the times sitting alone in a room full of ancient pieces of artwork, it’s about dancing in the kitchen while cooking chicken and brussels sprouts, it’s about listening to Pink Floyd on our terrace until two in the morning, it’s about having life changing conversations over brie and salami on top of a hill, and it’s about always saying yes to every new opportunity that comes your way.