On a typical day during the fall semester of 2017, my best friend and I were sitting in our night class when a former professor came to speak to our group about a trip that she had in the works to Reggio Emilia, Italy. Jokingly, I looked at my friend and said “let’s go!” and we laughed… Well, after a little more research, and a few pleading phone calls with our parents, the trip became reality.

I have always enjoyed traveling, but I have never ventured to Europe. My passion for education and travel collided and I knew I could not pass up this once in a lifetime chance. In preparation for this trip, I have applied for many scholarships and grants, held fundraising events, and even sold t-shirts! J I have been in constant prayer as well as I know this is an incredible opportunity to witness the overwhelming love of God to the people that I encounter in Italy. I am packing only a few outfits, as I will only be abroad for approximately ten days. I am packing lots of snacks, and comfy walking shoes! Most days we will be doing extensive walking.

My thoughts right now are a little scattered as I am still finalizing my packing, making last minute runs around town, and getting the last bit of pre-departure homework complete. I am thrilled to be able to experience this trip with one of my all-time favorite professors, and one of my very best friends. I feel thankful that I have some familiarity while we will be in a very unfamiliar place.

From this experience, I hope to gain a new appreciation for different cultures, Reggio Emilia teaching techniques that can be implemented into my future classroom in America, friendships and bonds with people that I may have never met without this opportunity, and memories that I can share with my friends and family for the rest of my life.

I am ecstatic that this laugh between two friends turned into the real deal and we are actually going to Italy!! Still having trouble wrapping my brain around it…it’s not like we leave in two days or anything, ;).