Cinque Terre (Manarola)

Before my class in Copenhagen began, I got the chance to spend a little bit of time touring Europe with my family. My brother, sister, and grandparents met me in Copenhagen to begin our trip. From Copenhagen we flew down to Rome and continued with a trip through Italy (Rome, Pompeii, Florence/Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Venice, Verona). We ended the trip in Munich. It was such a neat experience to be able to visit so many different cities in such a short amount of time and to compare the culture in each. And the good thing I discovered is that my favorite city is most certainly Copenhagen–where I will now spend the next month studying.

So far, I have learned SO many things about traveling, navigating new places, and interacting with people who are very different from myself. I loved learning the cities simply by using maps and attempting to direct my family from place to place. During my trip I learned an important lesson: that not everything goes as plannned–hiccups on your trip are bound to happen. For instance, in Rome we took the Metro from the city center to the Vatican City. When we left St. Peter’s Basilica and headed back to the Metro we discovered that much of the Public transit in Rome (and throughout Italy) was on strike! This obviously made it a lot more difficult to get back (considering the taxi situation that day was also affected), but we eventually made it back to the airbnb.

And even though nothing went perfect or exactly as planned, I would not trade my experience for anything. The chaos is what makes it fun. I would definitely recommend to anyone to just go and explore as many places as possible. A local in Florence (the owner of the airbnb we stayed in there) told us that the best way to visit Florence is to “get lost in the city.” I stand by this statement for any city. The times my family explored and found somewhere local or went somewhere on a whim were the best times.

My trip so far with my family has been such an incredible experience and I am so lucky that I get to continue my time abroad.  I plan to explore (after class of course) and get lost in Copenhagen to continue my incredible trip abroad.