Firenze, I have made it to you after anxious months of waiting, and I couldn’t be more in love with your breathtaking city and everything you have to offer. The long flights and hours of traveling were worth the arrival and experiences that occurred within my first week. I found myself missing family and friends during my travels which blocked my viewpoints on the wonderful opportunity I was about to endure for the following four months ahead. Luckily, upon my arrival I was quickly refocused.
It was beginning to get dark on our cab ride into the city to our apartment, so I was only able to catch a glimpse of the city. When finally reaching our apartment and lugging suitcases upstairs, I was so exhausted that I had absolutely no trouble falling asleep. Instead, I woke up early that morning without an alarm, but to the sun shining through the cracks of the apartment window shades. My roommate Melissa and I opened the windows and stuck our heads outside to get our first real look at the streets of Florence. It would not even be close to an exaggeration to say we were mesmerized. We both stood in silence with smiles on our faces, realizing that we made it. We were here in Florence, the city we had been dreaming about visiting forever.
While adjusting to Florence, I found that the best possible thing for me to do was leave my apartment and just walk. While I was walking with no real destination I found myself stumbling across captivating landmarks, architecture, and views. Breathing in the air of Italy and watching others go about their daily lives made me feel so small. When I say small, I mean that in the best way possible. I found peace in seeing how much larger the world really is. There are so many places to see and so many people to meet. I began to realize that this is just the beginning of my travels and adventuring across the globe. It might not always be obvious, but often times I am a victim of my own mind. I let the anxiousness of failing and not being with familiar places get in the way of amazing things that I could be experiencing. I found this quote by Jack Canfield helpful to me. “The biggest rewards in life are found outside of your comfort zone. Live with it. Fear and risks are prerequisites if you want to enjoy a life of success and adventure.” This trip has already been so reassuring to me because I understand that I am fully capable challenging myself. There is something truly great about pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Doing just that has taken me to new extremes and places I never knew I’d end up.
I have found myself changing many of my thoughts and perceptions just throughout my first week of being here in Florence. I get the sense that traveling is teaching me to accept different cultural normalities. Rather than seeing things as completely different than my own culture, I am appreciating a different way of life. The word that keeps popping into my head for my journey so far is serendipity. As I learn how to function in this new environment I have failed in many aspects, but I have also adjusted in certain ways and been successful. In each situation I try and see things from a different perspective. If I have failed, I am not mad at the outcome. I am learning to appreciate every step of the way because that is what my journey here will be about. I hope that you all will continue to read my blog posts and enjoy them as I write about my time in Europe.