Two days ago I embarked on my adventure half way around the world to Florence, Italy! I was so nervous the three days Before I departed I barely slept.
After getting little sleep the night before my flight I was in a daze on the way to the airport. Saying goodbye to my mom and grandma before security was tough, yet I only teared up. After my connecting flight I was excited and couldn’t wait to see what was In store for me. I was sitting on the plane preparing for the 8 hour flight to Amsterdam when it hit me [hard] that I was leaving the country for 4 months. I silently cried in my seat thinking of my friends and family that I wouldn’t see for months. From there on out I have been a roller coaster of emotions.
Wednesday, January 28 – Day 1 – Arrival to Firenze
Once arriving in Florence I was nervous to meet my roommates and meet new people. Thankfully my roommates and I instantly clicked and it felt like we had know each other forever. After “moving in” to my apartment I had a quick break down about what exactly I was doing half way across the world during my last semester of college. With a few text to my best friend and a quick nap I was feeling better and I was off to the first part of my orientation with my roommates. After the meeting a group of us went to the cutest Italian restaurant – Osteria De’Peccatori . My first meal in Italy was a vegetarian ravioli dish [pictured below]. At first I was hesitant of the vegetable sauce but I figured when in Rome Florence. I thought I liked ravioli in America but this was 1000 times better.
The service at the restaurant was amazing! The man, who I am assuming was the owner, treated us like family – they even gave our group lemoncello shots for no extra charge! After an amazing meal and great company we headed back to our apartment because jet lag is real and we could have fallen asleep at our table. I [again] had a break down and a[nother] nap before taking a quick shower and heading to bed. Sleeping was rough, I finally got to sleep around 1:30 am [6:30 pm CST] just to wake up at 5:00 am [10:00pm CST].
Thursday, January 29 – Day 2 – exploring my new city
With little sleep my roommates and I left our apartment early that morning for day two of orientation. The meeting consisted of general information and rules for our program but most importantly, our travel info for excursions and tours. After the meeting a group of us went to explore and grab some food before our tour of the city. We stopped at the cutest little cafe for coffee and pastries and the continued to navigate our way around our new city.
Before leaving I looked at various travel Instagram accounts and read blogs all about Florence. On many of the platforms I saw a picture of a carousel and I made a goal to find the carousel during my time in Florence and while touring we found the carousel! I fully intend on ridding on it before my time here is over.
I was reluctant to go on the tour of the city since it was raining – I wanted to take a nap instead, lame I know. But I decided it couldn’t be that long of a tour. Before the tour I quickly got a slice of €1.50 pesto pizza from the pizza shop that was a dozen steps from my apartment. Just like the ravioli I though I liked pizza in America. Before even taking a bite of my slice the aroma made my mouth water. It was the best food I had had yet.
The tour was long but I am thankful I went, I saw new places and learned about the art and history of Florence. After the tour we somehow found our way back to our apartment without trouble. Cold and wet from the rain my roommate and I decided to stop at the cafe next to our apartment to warm up with hot chocolate. The hot chocolate tasted like liquid milk chocolate and instantly warmed us. I will definitely be a frequent customer at the cafe considering it is literally right next to my apartment.
After the pit stop at the cafe I had nap and then my roommates and I went to the supermarket [think Target but smaller and with fresh cheeses, meats, and pane [bread], that is just around the corner from our apartment. We got some essentials and headed back home. After sitting around and talking for awhile we decided it was time to get some sleep. Finally falling asleep around 2:00 am [7:00 pm CST] I woke up early again at 4:45 am [9:45 pm CST]. On the bright side without my abnormal sleeping habits i would not be reflecting on my first two days with this post. Hashtag yayy!
What I’ve learned in two short days:
1. I’m so #blessed to have this opportunity
2. My friends and family are the best support system I could ever ask for.
3. I’ve over come some of my biggest fears of studying abroad in 48 hours – flying alone, immersing myself in a foreign culture, and making friends with strangers.
Ciao, I am off for today’s adventure!