This past summer, I was fortunate enough to be able to travel across the beautiful country of Italy. My family and I made our way through Rome, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, and the Tuscan Countryside. As you can imagine, I immediately fell in love with the food, the views, and the culture. We went there having never gone there before and not being able to speak a lick of Italian. This made for a very exciting and very confusing two weeks. I was surprised, though, at how easily we were still able to find our way around the large cities of Rome and Florence. Thanks to modern technology and google maps, we only got lost a few times (maybe a little more than a few), and most of the natives knew enough english to communicate with tourists. When we got into the Tuscan Countryside, however, the locals there did not speak any english. This created a large language barrier for us along with our already obvious cultural barrier being that we were tourists in non-tourist towns. To our surprise, the locals were very welcoming and friendly people that made an effort to find humorous ways to overcome the barriers.
It was quite a learning experience and it opened my eyes to new history lessons, new sites, and new ways of life. Each city told a different story about the history of the country and taught me more about the world around me. It has inspired my desire to learn more history lessons, see more sites, and experience more ways of life by studying abroad and taking advantage of more opportunities outside of my comfort zone that allow me to grow and explore.