Travel Journal

One week...

(Tuesday 17 August 2010) by Vicky Papadopoulos
In approximately one week I will leave for Rome, Italy to study abroad for four months. (August 25th-December 19th). I am excited, anxious, anticipatory - but most of all, nervous. Our family went last Christmas for vacation and I absolutely fell in love with it - enough to choose it as my destination for my "required" study abroad curriculum as an International Business major (hey, I'm not complaining). What's different this time around is that I will actually be living there, not just visiting for a few days; I will (hopefully) be one of the locals who scoffs at all the tourists in the streets, looking at their maps upside down and listening intently with their headphones glued to their ears on those double decker, cheesed out buses that take them around the city. Instead of having my family to rely on and get lost with, and to pay for the nice expensive hotel rooms, guided tours, and cappuccinos, I will be living in a dorm room that overlooks the dirty Roman streets, scrapping for money and immersing myself completely in a culture I have barely experienced. If that's not enough reason to be nervous, I don't know what is...

I'm one of those people that gets anxious if there are technical difficulties. Right now I can imagine all the possible things that could go wrong - I forget my [insert important document here], the taxi driver takes me the wrong way, my luggage doesn't arrive on time, etc. I have not learned how to properly control my stress (read: Bahamas trip) when it comes to these situations, so my hope is that should something like this happen, I will be able to calmly address the situation and not freak out. I will be a civilized, non-tearful, mature American girl (er, woman?) who users her fantastic smile to abate any bump in the road.

I think I take myself too seriously, and it is my sincere hope that with this trip, I will be able to loosen up and enjoy life a little more. Not worry about things like my weight or which boys do or don't like me. In a sense, I want to both escape from myself and find myself.

Next time you see me I'll be in Rome.


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