Immersing Myself

This past week feels like it happened in the blink of an eye. It’s a good thing I took plenty of pictures to capture the happenings. On Thursday I had the opportunity to tour the Great Synagogue of Florence. I was so thankful to be led around the Synagogue by the wife of the rabbi in Florence. For our tour, we focused on the perspective of a woman living in the Jewish Community. When I entered the Synagogue I was amazed by the beauty and detail from the ground to the very top. Our tour guide explained that the overall feeling of the interior of the Synagogue is based on older Spanish art which was vastly fashionable at the time it was built. One side of the Synagogue was dedicated to the men and the other, women. During services, the genders are separated. We climbed the stairs to the top where the women sit during the service. It was interesting to see the Synagogue from this perspective. Men lead the service and the women sit at the top and listen over the balcony. I found this interesting because from the balcony view, it is hard to see the center where the sermon is delivered. Our tour guide explained that this was a rule made to prevent distractions during the service. I thought about the takeaway message and the experience a man might receive during the service as opposed to the woman. I find it interesting to study different religions and try and understand how individuals might feel or be accustomed to in their specific religion. It was a great opportunity for me to hear more about the religion through a woman’s experience.

Great Synagogue of Florence

On Friday we went out for our friend’s birthday and came home at a decent hour to prepare for the fast paced weekend trip. Saturday morning I woke up early and headed to the train station for my 6 am departure to Monaco. First, we headed to the Prince’s Chapel to see the changing of the guards. My best way to describe Monaco is that it felt like I was in a fairytale movie. The streets of Monaco are enchanting. The color palette of the houses and apartments were beautiful. It is impossible to see the different shades on the streets and not feel happiness. From the light pinks, to the blues and deep oranges, everything was eye-catching. I walked down to the ocean and became even more amazed than I already was. The water would change depending on how the sunlight was hitting the water. When you look behind you, tall mountains stand beautifully. I couldn’t believe that anything I was looking at was real life. Moments like those help you to appreciate all forms of life. The constant thoughts and worries in my mind are put on hold completely and I took in what was right in front of me. It sounds corny to talk about experiences in that way, but the feeling I described is true. I will remember the feelings I have gotten while traveling new places as well as the sights forever, and that is what I find so wonderful about adventure.

Streets of Monaco

Monte Carlo is definitely a place for the wealthy class as well as celebrities. I was able to tell when I walked to the Casino and saw the atmosphere in which I was surrounded by. High end shopping, expensive restaurants, and fashionable people were everywhere I turned. It’s both humbling and exciting to experience all of the different ways of living. I can feel my mind opening to new thoughts and perceptions. The world is huge and filled with so many different places and beautiful life that I have yet to see. I will make it a priority to do everything I can to travel as much as possible and to experience as many different ways of living as I can. I want to come out of the tiny location I have been immersed in and I want to try and immerse myself into millions of different new places so that I can live my life to the fullest.

Maggie Laughlin 

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