Although I miss Norway, I’m happy to be off wandering in different parts of Europe (I’m also happy about the cheaper food…and wine). Trolltunga in Odda, Norway was a gorgeous bike/hike/climb and reunion with some great folks from Augustana. I’ve also experienced some of the nicest hospitality in Europe. Either it’s good luck from the 1 kroner coin I picked up at the metro stop, or genuinely nice people. I’d like to think both.
Kayla and I spent the last three days in Rome experiencing its rich history. Just picture art major Aimée running around Rome spewing out facts from art history class (THANK YOU DR. TWA)! Having a basic knowledge of the sites I visited made the experience that much more special. The Colosseum was incredible, and the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica were gorgeous. I think the best part of my experience so far has been going off the beaten path and away from the crazy tourist sites to relax and take in the atmosphere. I successfully completed my first AirBnB experience with a wonderful host just outside of the Roma city center and I met an incredible couple from Holland who shared their travel experiences in Africa and Europe…Dialogue 🙂 I’ve also made use of Steinar’s advice to continually ask questions, even they seem like dumb questions.
Our first experiences in Italy have also given me time to appreciate and reflect on my life back home. I’ve learned the importance of enjoying the moment and not worrying…hakuna matata. I should probably listen to my tattoo more often. It is such a privilege as a poor college student to have the opportunity and time to travel around Europe. I’m so thankful for the support my friends, family, and job. I’ve gained a greater appreciation for my parents who took all over the United States when I was younger. Seeing how time consuming it is to navigate with two people, I can only imagine the difficulty my parents faced trying to herd me and my sister around. I’ve never been away from home for so long so this has been an good exercise in trusting that everything will work out when I get back. Finally, I’ve learned to be a bit more outgoing (not a ton, but better than my usual introvert self). Striking up conversation with random people while waiting in line for the bathroom or waiting for a tour at the Vatican to begin is a priceless experience.
I’m excited to begin the next leg of our journey in Milan and Venice, Ciao!