I bought a plane ticket to Rome. I had never been outside of North America but that isn’t what scared me. I actually was really excited to go across the Atlantic. I knew only the trip advisor, my ethics professor, and one other person. That didn’t scare me either, I’ve been on trips where I didn’t know anyone (NYC Spring Break). What scared me was how much I didn’t know about the place I was going to.
I went into my trip to Italy basically illiterate. I knew that Rome was a historical legend and that I was about to be overwhelmed with every step and sight. I was correct. I learned so much while I was there. I went on the trip with an expert which helped to know where I was going and what I was doing. He took me to places that I never knew I was going to see. He brought us to restaurants that he had vetted for authenticity. I was always in good hands and I knew that. With the freedom of fear I was able to soak in the magic that was present in that country.
I remember the smell of the pizza and pasta I ate. I can remember the moment I saw the colosseum and the glory it holds. I remember with vivid detail the overwhelming humbling that happened when I was on the actual cobblestones that one could trace back to the days of Biblical significance. I can still feel how my soul sank when I stepped into the actual hole that Paul was kept captive in. I remember the moment I saw the Pope. I can remember the tears that came out of my face when I stepped into the Sistine chapel. I can see the Statue of David, Michelangelo’s piece of art. I remember riding in a water taxi that took me to the Island of Marano. I stepped into Dante’s house.
I did so many amazing things in that historical country that I can’t even grasp the concept of how lucky I am to be able to experience those things. I was tired but my feet never hurt and I attribute that to the fact that I was pumped up on so much adrenaline because I was at a place that so many people in this world since the beginning of time has passed through.
My favorite memory was moments after I saw the Trevi fountain my new friends and I were walking the streets of Rome and it started to sprinkle. We were ill-equipped to handle the rain so we decided we would head back to our hotel. On our trip back the rain picked up but we had no choice but to run. We headed to the subway system to get out of the rain but that only brought us so far and we had to enter the elements again. It was an inconvenience to some but rain brought out character that I would have otherwise missed in this town. The rain reflected off the ground in a way that I have never seen before. The golden lights where more obvious and beautiful. On my run back to the hotel I had never seen so much of God’s glory. It was magnificent and I will always hold that memory dear.
Now a year removed from my trip to Italy I can reflect on all the amazing things I saw and acknowledge how little I knew before I stepped foot in Europe and encourage anyone who is slightly interested in seeing the world to start there. Go with someone who knows what they are talking about and read as many books and articles you can find because knowing how amazing the place is can only enhance the experience you will have.