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“Five minutes until landing,” the pilot said. I couldn’t believe it. I’m in Italy! Nothing says bring in the new year better than traveling to another country. After a semester filled with papers and exams, I needed a change. I walked off the plane with a huge smile on my face. I made the decision to study abroad during the spring semester of my junior year. I told myself that senior year would be different. I found a summer job, and spent the summer working to fund my study abroad trip. Fall semester was spent preparing for my trip in January. I had so much to do. But, after the long, intense preparation, it was all worth it!

 

Sitting in baggage claim, I accessed my situation. It took me about 20 minutes to clear immigration, which was surprising. But, I had been waiting for my luggage over 40 minutes. On the verge of tears, I sat alone until an airport employee approached me. “Are you still waiting for your luggage?” he asked in broken English. I cleared my throat before I replied, “Yes.” He directed me towards Customer Service, and I waited another 15 minutes before he told me where my luggage was. It hadn’t arrived with me, and it wouldn’t be arriving until 5pm. It was 11:40 am. I didn’t want to wait that long so I decided to go to the hotel.

 

The hardest part about navigating through an Italian airport is having to decipher the signs to figure out if you are heading in the right direction. I must have asked Siri several times what certain words meant in English. I was out of my element! But, it was liberating. I didn’t know how much some years of Spanish could have helped me understand Italian a little better. After I found the bus station, I bought my ticket and got on the bus. Only an hour away from my destination.

 

During the bus ride, I took it all in. Italy is a beautiful country. Rome is an even better sight! It’s a great mixture between the historical aspect and modern aspect of the city. It reminded a little of NYC, my home! Getting off the bus and walking to the hotel allowed me to familiarize myself with my surroundings. The most beautiful part of Rome is its diversity. I appreciated the city a little more because of it. I did some reflecting on my walk to the hotel. My first impression of Italy wasn’t all that great. I lost my luggage and I didn’t know anything about the culture or language. I was alone. But, I didn’t let that stop me. Finally, after making it to the hotel, I checked in and went to my hotel room. It was a long day and I needed a rest.

 

Although I missed most my trip, I did get to walk around the city and explore for a bit before heading to Florence. I saw the Pantheon, taking a tour of a place that served an important role in the Roman Empire. Also, the Colosseum was just a few minutes away from my hotel. I enjoyed my time in Rome. But, most importantly, I enjoyed the historical beauty of the place, the history has lived on for centuries. I guess that’s why it’s called the Eternal City!

Kayla Jasmin

Editor-in-Chic at Kay Travels The World
UDEL Alum, Brooklyn native, Adventurer, and Learner. Those are some of the words I would use to describe myself. When it comes to travel, I am a novice. But, I know this for certain: I LOVE Travel! My first experience with travel started the summer after my ninth grade year, and I haven’t looked back since. There is always a story behind each place I visit. I love the journey; its about traveling to new places and seeing new things. And, for me, that means engaging with the local communities in the country or destination. After a study abroad trip to Italy, I realized how much travel means to me. I encountered obstacles that put travel into perspective for me. Its not all glits and glam; sometimes, its up to YOU to make the most out of your experience and learn from it.So, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

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UDEL Alum, Brooklyn native, Adventurer, and Learner. Those are some of the words I would use to describe myself. When it comes to travel, I am a novice. But, I know this for certain: I LOVE Travel! My first experience with travel started the summer after my ninth grade year, and I haven’t looked back since. There is always a story behind each place I visit. I love the journey; its about traveling to new places and seeing new things. And, for me, that means engaging with the local communities in the country or destination. After a study abroad trip to Italy, I realized how much travel means to me. I encountered obstacles that put travel into perspective for me. Its not all glits and glam; sometimes, its up to YOU to make the most out of your experience and learn from it. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

  • Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    Rome is one of the most historically rich places I have ever visited in all my years of travel. I’m glad you got to see at least some of it!

  • Marysa

    I have never been to Rome, or Europe for that matter. Looks like a great trip! I would love to go someday with my family. I love how much history there is in the city.

  • That is a super rough start. Glad you were able to regroup and enjoy Rome. Hopefully you get back to do it again, minus the missing luggage 🙂

  • I was in Rome last October. And now I am sad because that trip (coupled with Greece) was one of my favorite trips on the face of the planet. It was amazing – and sooooooooooo educational and um, DELICIOUS too! Wahhh! I want to go back!

  • Michelle Bentz

    My husband and I traveled to Italy a few years ago. It’s such a beautiful country! You are so brave traveling alone – I must admit even with my husband by my side it was a nerve-racking experience until we reached our destination and tour group.

  • Roger Willis

    Back in the mid-90’s, a couple of friends and I went to Italy. We were stationed in Germany with the Army. Unfortunately, we did not go to Rome, which I really wanted to see. My daughter-in-law and her dad went back in May and she loved it! I would love to see all the sites, like the Coliseum. Glad you had a fun trip! Commenting for Ladonna Dennis Maxwell @momblogsociety.com

  • It feels great when you can be stress-free after exams and hard work has paid off. Coming from a French background, Italian (and Spanish) is a little easier to piece together some words since they stem from Latin language. Sorry to hear you had to go through that process about retrieving you lost luggage.

  • I did my study abroad in rome. Its a truly magical city. The history cant be beat. Every street is beautiful. I hope you got your luggage eventurally! Italians are not the most punctual!

  • Tara Mitchell

    Lost luggage would SUCK, but I’m glad you got out and explored anyway! Who needs fresh clothes when you have Italy! 🇮🇹

  • kellee

    Rome looks amazing and the history is incredible. I haven’t been to Italy but it’s on the short bucket list.

  • Gisele Gamble

    So sorry your luggage was late! That had to be horrible! Italy is such a beautiful country and it is rich in history. I’ve studied about the architecture and it is amazing!

  • Luke and Meagan, Two Restless

    I’m sorry your trip started out so poorly – we’ve certainly had our fair share of missteps in traveling, but they always end up for the best. And, if nothing else, are great learning experiences!

  • Exploring Curiously

    This reminds me of my my study abroad program. It is so exciting and confusing at the same time. I visited 10 countries as part of my program, so I was always in unfamiliar territory with a new currency. You were fortunate to have had Siri to help you!

  • I can imagine how scared you were at one point. So nice that someone helped you out. It helps to have a friendly face in the chaos! So glad you had this experience I am sure it has made you a stronger person!

  • My favorite part of travel touring the beautiful and historical buildings of the city I’m arriving in. I hate that you missed most of your trip. Your attitude is right on, though!

  • I’m sorry you lost your luggage! That must have been terrible. I’ve never been to Italy but I’ve always wanted to see the Pantheon. I learned about it in Art History and it seems like it would be a beautiful place to visit!

  • Censie ‘Mumby’ Sawyer

    Wow. That was so scary. I am sure you learned so much from this experience and I am glad that you got some help. I have always wanted to try to Rome, I hope to one day!! Bucket list for sure!!

  • Stacey Billingsley

    I would hate to lose my luggage. I’d love to visit Italy, though! Maybe someday I will get to go!

  • I would LOVE to visit Italy one day!! I hate that you lost your luggage in a foreign country, that sounds like something that would happen to me! HA!

  • Jocelyn @ Hip Mama’s Place

    It’s a beautiful place and I’m sorry you had to experience that crazy mess in the airport! It’s one of the worst things that could happen when you travel. I’m glad you still got to explore and see the sights though.

  • Glimpses of The World

    Sounds so nice. It seems that you’ve been all prepared with that summer job and all. So glad that you did it, you got to Italy! 🙂 It shows how one can accomplish things he desires, if he puts some work into it.

  • chubskulit

    I am jealous, I haven’t to Italy and it is one of my dream destination someday. I am excited to see and read the rest of your trip there.

  • I have never been to Rome before, but it looks like a lovely place to visit. Maybe someday! – HilLesha

  • I dream of Italy! Oh, the food! <3

  • Gingermommy

    Italy would be a beautiful vacation to take and all the food! oh man!

  • Shelley King

    How courageous of you to take this trip alone? When I go places I love to take buses and such. It is amazing the amount of the world you can take in. How exciting to visit Rome! I can’t even imagine the history and beauty. Sorry about the luggage loss but it didn’t seem to slow you down that much. #girlsrock

  • Oh my, hope I can visit Rome too, soon! Love this place , very historic!

  • cewtypye

    I would love to explore Rome some more. We are planning a overseas trip very soon!

  • Victoria Heckstall

    I would love to go in rome someday. I will put this to my bucket list. Really love that place so much

  • Lynsey Betz

    Rome is such a beautiful place, there is so much beauty take in, I’m glad you had a wonderful time!

  • pnkgirl25

    I love that title. And Rome is on my bucket list, it’s absolutely city that everyone should visit. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jacqui Odell

    Understanding transportation is one of my biggest fears about going to a different country. I am scared I would get lost.

  • Jennifer Van Huss

    It sounds like you had a fabulous time in Italy! I lost my luggage the first time I flew to Europe! It happens! Enjoy your trip!

  • WEMAKE7

    I’m so sorry to hear about the issues with your luggage when you got there. Sounds like a wonderful place to visit though. I’ve never been out of country before and hoping to some day.

  • umiko

    Imagine if there’s no Siri. But like you said, you got to enjoy the historical beauty of the place that has lived on for centuries.

  • Amit Sharma

    I know how you feel about your luggage I’ve had a few issues over the years but mine was thankfully always returned back to me after a few days – I have a couple of friends that are in Rome as we speak and they are having an amazing time, i will be sure to pass this post onto them, I’m sure it will come in handy for them 😀