Some people have never left their hometown or been on an airplane. There is so much more to life than the little bubble that we all like to call home. Sure it’s probably beautiful and that is where each and every one of us feels comfortable. But why not take a chance? Why not open your mind to a whole new culture, language, food, music, and land? You never know unless you try, right?
As my freshman college year came to an end, my proud mother surprised me with a trip to Europe for achieving a 3.44 GPA! I was headed to Spain, France, and Italy for two weeks, leaving the land I knew, America. What was in store for me was beyond anything I ever expected. I guess it is true when some say that traveling enriches one’s soul … or stomach.
While in Spain, I was introduced to a famous Spanish plate called “Paella,” and there was nothing else like it. Served to you in a hot cast iron, it is a plate of Spanish rice mixed with a variety of seafood, like scallops, shrimp, mussels, along with chicken and lots of vegetables. These plates usually feed about 2-3 people, but of course I had to order one for myself … and finish it. The most delicious authentic Spanish food I have ever had and I didn’t feel guilty about it one bit.
After all that eating, I was off to Cannes, France. I was never really a fan of French food, but from all the Hollywood movies I knew it was a beautiful country and I couldn’t wait to witness it first hand. Sure enough the scenery was something straight out of a photograph. Not a cloud in the sky, not a dull building in site. The streets were small and the only cars that would fit through them were smart cars. There were yachts all around their port, which was on the Mediterranean Sea. Who would have ever thought that I would have been standing at the Mediterranean Sea, where so many great empires like the Romans and Greeks once were. It was a moment I will remember forever.
Next stop, the one and only place I have been dying to visit ever since I was a little kid, Rome, Italy. The amount of history this country, let alone this city has, is something unfathomable. I couldn’t grasp the fact that all these structures that surround the city have been there for centuries and centuries. Moreover, they were built by hand, not by machines like today, but by the sweat and hard work of the Romans. Having the Colosseum right in front of me was pure insanity. Looking at this structure and how perfectly it still stands amazes me. Of course the food and music is great in Italy, but nothing compares to the beautiful structures that make the city the beauty it is. Ending the Eurotrip in Italy was exactly what I needed. Sure America is nice and I will always love my country, but there is so much more life and riches around the world that people need to see. This for me was just the start, my love for international cities has just begun. Next stop will be Greece, but until then, I’ll keep my Italian state of mind, “Ciao!”
Written By: Krissty Andaur
UNF offers scholarships that may be able to fully fund your study abroad trip. For more information, visit: http://www.unf.edu/intlctr/scholarships/