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In my travel writing class, we’ve been discussing how traveling is a bit like torture. It stretches you, it changes you and it can be very painful. I am so happy to be in Italy, and I’m so thankful and privileged to be able to travel around Europe this semester- I couldn’t be luckier.

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But it’s also true that this has been so hard, and it will continue to be hard. It’s hard to be so far away from home, away from everyone I love and everything familiar. It’s hard to navigate airports, train stations and cities that are completely foreign. I’ve already learned so much about myself, and I’ve gained so much confidence in my individual abilities, and needless to say, I’ve learned a lot about gaining a non-American perspective on this world.

But travel can be torture. I love sharing all the fun and beauty and excitement, but it’s also important to share the shadows and the loneliness and the uncomfortable reality of being a stranger.

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On a lighter note, we visited Verona yesterday, the city where Romeo and Juliet is based. We visited Juliet’s home, her tomb, and the ancient Roman arena. dsc_0140 dsc_0175

It’s so surreal to visit places I’ve only ever seen in movies- it doesn’t feel possible that I’m actually here, but here I am for months! It’s pretty incredible and I’m so so thankful.

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