I was ready to embrace my inner Lizzie McGuire. Pasta. Pizza. Museums. Italy, specifically Rome sounded like my cup of tea- or glass of wine! I was so excited getting ready. What will I wear? Something that will be easy to ride a vespa in. What shoes should I bring? Obviously something cute! Definitely packing my hair curler so my hair looks great in pictures. I’m glad my mom was there to help take some things out of my 50 pound suitcase. 

Popping a melatonin in my mouth, I thought I would pass out and I would avoid the jet lag. Wrong! I only took one and after an hour on the eight hour flight, I was wide awake. By the time I got to the hotel, my body was screaming “IT’S TWO AM, GO TO BED!” I would find myself taking naps for the first week, something that I would have done back home, but for fun! Here, I was taking these naps because my eyes were being weighed down by my little version of the Lizzie McGuire cartoon. Finally by the fourth day, my body had gotten used to the time difference, and I was ready to take on Rome. 

When I first got to Rome I was so confused. All the cars, or at least most of them where manual, so the car would constantly jerk. It even stalled on our way to the hotel! When we were eating dinner, the water was warm! Cold water is a luxury in most restaurants, and I’ve only been to a handful of them that provide the refreshing cold water—however I had to pay for it. Not just for the cold water, but for water in general. There is no free tap water at the restaurants! You either buy a bottle of it, or share a big bottle with the whole table and split the cost. Getting to our apartment, I was excited! It looked super cute! But, you know what’s not super cute? Waking up drenched in your sweat because there’s no AC. Or having to wait a day for your favorite shirt to dry because there’s no dryers! The worst part was walking to class. The first day I heard a bunch of car horns, and I thought it was because the traffic was bad! As the days keep going, I realized the beeps and the screams were people cat-calling us. I was so surprised that this is done so normally here! 

            I definitely don’t mean to rant and say that Italy is the worst place ever. Like any place, there are things you like and dislike and that’s okay. I love my classes. I love my friends. There’s absolutely no place like the Sistine Chapel. The gelato is to die for, I recommend the hazelnut! While you walk, there’s so many markets that sell fresh fruits and cute clothes. It’s incredible to be at places that hold so much importance and so much history like the Colosseum. Although my first impressions was surprised and a little unexpected, when visiting these amazing places and trying the foods, I realized that not everything is going to be like the United States. I am so fortunate that I was able to have this experience and personally it took a couple days to get used to it. Everyone is different. Lizzie McGuire did not warn me about that. However, I could never take this experience for granted, and Italy definitely has a piece of my heart now. Now, I can’t wait to go home to my Paolo, or Gordo, whoever you prefer.