Originally published on August 9, 2016

I’m currently on my flight back to the USA with just two more hours to go after a little 5 hour delay in Frankfurt, Germany. I’ve found myself daydreaming and reminiscing about the past month and a half and it brings me to tears. Not only because I’m sad that its over but because I am so grateful to have experienced this time and to have made all of the memories that came along with it.

To give some background, I just traveled to four different countries beginning on the first of July. First and most importantly, I studied in Rome, Italy for a month. Then I took off to the beautiful and much colder land of Ireland, then Germany for a couple days, and then finally the cherry on top— Switzerland. I had planned on blogging along my journey but after the first 3 weeks flew by, I decided to wait until I was back home to start writing about my adventures.

So I guess I can start off with tales of Rome, Italy in my next few blog posts. I’ll tell you about my first few days in Rome with the most amazing group of strangers I’ve ever met. I never thought the day would come that I would jump on my plane to study abroad in one of the most historical and ancient cities in the world. But the day came fast and after my last minute packing back at home, my family dropped me off at the Atlanta airport with my slightly overweight (and by slightly I mean sixteen pounds overweight) bag. Twelve hours later, I landed in the city of my dreams and met the people who would become some of my best friends in the next month.

Unfortunately the jet lag was SO real and I struggled, along with the others, to stay awake on the bus tour around the city the first day. Rome was already more than I ever imagined and we ended the night with a fancy (and yummy) Italian meal then went out to a few bars to get some drinks and socialize with all of our new friends. The next few days were full of exploring the town with a trip to the breathtaking Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Also filled with many more outings for delicious Italian food, wine, and drinks. Over those few days everyone tried to adjust to the hot nights of sleep with no air conditioning and of course the constant 98 degree sun blaring on our backs as we roamed the city. More importantly, the next few days brought a group of complete strangers closer together and we had no idea the adventures that were ahead in the next month. Our university, the American University of Rome, even threw all of the Americans a fourth of July celebration with free burgers and beer…American style of course! We went out in the city that night to socialize with the other American students and celebrate our home country. I have to admit— it was a little odd celebrating the fourth in our red, white, and blue around a bunch of Italians that night, but we had a good time regardless! We also met our professors that day and I met probably the strangest and most interesting professor I’ve ever photography professor. I would come to learn so much about photography from this man and come to appreciate all of his quirks over the next month.

In my next post, I’ll tell you all about the different adjustments of moving to a foreign country for a month and the funny stories we experienced being Americans in the beautiful city of Roma. I’ll also tell you all about places to go in Rome and what to see! For now, here’s some pictures from my first few days in Rome…enjoy!