Time has gone by so quickly. Everyone warned me of this that in a blink of an eye this will all be a memory. Excuse me while I already tear up at that thought! We are halfway through the semester and midterms are in absolute full swing. I have spent the past week drowning in work and studying. But everyone needs a break right!?
A few of us decided to venture to Venice for a quick day trip on Saturday after having spent hours upon hours studying and finishing up papers! Once again we embarked on a bus ride and made our way to the beautiful town of Venice. I did not know what to actually expect from the town itself because I had gotten such mixed reviews from everyone; some people raved while others went “eh.” But I am only in Italy for a semester once I have to make my own opinions of places. It was absolutely beautiful in its own way. Some Italian towns all feel the same after a while but this one felt fresh and new. There was something incredibly old world about it but something also very modern about the area.
There, we took part of some of the traditional touristy attractions of Venice because, ya know, we cannot miss those; after all, we are tourists. We were able to enter one of the most famous glass blowing studios and shops in Venice for a demonstration. My mind was blown: the glassman formed a horse statue in less two minutes. The amount of time and dedication that it must have taken the artist to achieve this skill is astounding to think about.
My favorite part of the day however was another one of those moments where you actually do not know if you are dreaming or not. You never grow up thinking “Oh, I am going to ride in a Gondola in Venice one day”; instead you grow up thinking, “Ah! I hope I can ride a Gondola in Venice one day.” That is what is so great about this experience: you are making these fantasies legitimately come true. We are forever going to be able to talk about our times in Italy and traveling.
This comes to a different point also that traveling now is never going to be the same traveling that we do in the future. Yes, it has made me a better packer for those trips but there is a deeper meaning to this experience that I do not know if I will ever be able to find in another week long vacation. There is a sense of independence and strength that you feel when you study abroad.
I sometimes realize and tear up at the thought that this might be the only time in my life when I get to these places. I have no clue what my future holds and that is beautiful but also incredibly terrifying. Once we return home I have to begin to think of new dreams when it comes to traveling and hope that they will one day be achieved. I have to think that I will never be able to hop on a bus with my friends for a weekend in another country and make it back for Monday classes. I am constantly reminded that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. As we are about halfway through our semester I cannot help but get sentimental and already think of all memories I have made along with lifelong friends.
For the rest of my semester as we are halfway through I hope to make even more dreams become reality. I hope to make even more lifelong friends. I hope to survive the next few very long bus rides that fall break holds (update to come). I plan on eating as much gelato as I can. I am going to take in every morning walk to class, because in just a month and a half, I will return home with these moments slowly becoming distant memories. Distant memories that will forever have changed me. I cannot imagine what the rest of the weeks hold for me here. I feel as if I have grown as a person, accomplished so many things, and have learned so much. I honestly do not know what else I could ask for. I look back and reflect on my first month and a half here and I actually have no regrets and that is all I could ask for.