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Author: tm007

Parents Abroad

Parents Abroad

Spending four months living in an entirely new city, immersing yourself into an unfamiliar culture and engaging in a foreign experience abroad should be on the top of everyone’s to do list. Luckily, I’ve had the chance to embrace that livelihood. Spending this time abroad has opened my eyes to new adventure, my mind to a different understanding and surely made me wish that everyone I love could experience these same thing.

Theresa exploring Rome with Colin Albright and parents Gina and Mike.
Theresa exploring Rome with Colin Albright and parents Gina and Mike.

Since my arrival, my parents have been living vicariously through my pictures, Facetime chats and stories i’ve shared with them. To all of our excitement though, last week they no longer had to do that as they traveled thousands of miles across the ocean to visit me in my new, lovely, home away from home.

They’re lovers of Italian food, history and interested in culture, but what they weren’t big fans of were the hill top cities I trudged them through! On Friday, they arrived in Rome where I met them at the train station. We spent the day exploring a residential part of town, and when we weren’t out and about, my father always found time to rest his eyes sitting in almost any position. On Saturday, we adventured into ancient Rome where we explored the city that most definitely was not built in a day. Although beautiful and full of wonderful history, there was some competition for the most favorable city on their list.

Parents Gina and Mike at the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy.
Parents Gina and Mike at the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy.

Sunday we traveled to Perugia where I was able to show them around the hilltop city that is full of beautiful views and countless charming features. We checked out some of my favorite food places, hangout spots and aspects of everyday life. Later in the week, we took a trip to Florence and Assisi. Both admirable, but Assisi truly did steal my father’s heart.

Hanging out in front of the Colosseum.
Hanging out in front of the Colosseum.

Parents abroad is such an amazing thing to experience while studying in a new country. Not only did I get a little taste of home, some treats from the States, and loaded my parents with things to take back with them, but I got to introduce my favorite people to many of my new favorite things, and that is something I will cherish forever. Now not only will I share stories of my study abroad trip, I will share memories that will last with us forever.

With 18 days left in this amazing country, I have to admit that I’m sad to be leaving but excited to be returning to the people and places that I have missed so much.

Ciao,
Theresa M

Fear of Missing Out

Fear of Missing Out

Despite the beautiful views, hundreds of pictures and indescribable experiences, I always have that feeling that I’m missing out on something. That “something” is essentially everything that’s happening at home while I’m away. As my junior homecoming quickly approaches and festivities kick off, I really don’t think there’s any place I would rather be. Of course, I love being in Italy and it is absolutely amazing here, but there are a few things I would trade to be able to spend this specific weekend at home.

Now when I think about it, I know that this feeling is just temporary. As I scroll through social media and realize that i’m not experiencing all of these amazing things at home with my friends, I then think to myself… “wait, but i’m in Italy”. Sure, i’m missing homecoming, but I’m spending my weekend adventuring around the next beautiful city that I decide to explore. This weekend happens to be Venice, and I get to spend the time with some of my favorite people.

There’s a few other things I miss about home…

Not paying for water:

Every time I go out to dinner, I can’t just expect to get water for free. It’s usually about $3.00 for a large fancy glass bottle. Even though I’ve been here for a month, it’s still tough getting used to that.

My car:

Public transportation isn’t the worst thing in the world, I’ve actually adjusted to it quite well. Even though it’s easy to navigate, there’s times that I wish I could just get in my car and go instead of having to wait for the next bus to come around!

Football:

Yes, football. I miss listening to people yell at the tv, going to football games, football season, the atmosphere and everything that comes along with it. With that being said, Happy Homecoming Weekend at the Valley!

PerugiaLookoutMessenger

Until next time,
Theresa

30 Days

30 Days

Thirty whole days have gone by since I’ve been home and I’ve found out that a lot can happen in thirty days…

We spent our first night in a hotel where we met our roommates. From that moment on, the memories, challenges and excitement began! Over the past four weekends, I’ve traveled around Italy and have even been out of the county to experience one of Germany’s largest festivals.

The start of my adventure: 
During the first week, the Umbra Institute provided us with four days of Intensive Italian so that we would become comfortable and more familiar with the language. They also provided us with a delicious night of pizza at a local restaurant. The rest of the week was full of exploring the beautiful city of Perugia, and attempting to remember the names of the other 90 students at Umbra!

First Italian Pizza
First Italian Pizza

Monday morning rolled around and all of our traditional classes started for the semester. It was exciting to get back into the swing of school, but I wouldn’t mind being in Italy to study Italian and spend the rest of my time exploring the culture. At the end of  the week, I went on my first excursion and visited the beautiful Firenze. Sights like this are unimaginable, and no picture could ever do the view justice.

View from the Duomo in Florence
View from the Duomo in Florence

“Family” dinners, school, traveling and memory book club are what occupy most of my time during the week. Surprisingly enough, every time my friends and I get together for dinner, we always end up cooking some type of traditional American food. Stove top burgers has been our favorite meal so far! At the end of the week, my favorite person and I decided to take a weekend trip to see the beautiful Italian Coast. On our way to Cinque Terre, we stopped in Pisa to take the cliché leaning tower picture of course. While at the beaches in Cinque Terre, we were able to visit four out of the five towns and it was amazing. The sights were beautiful, and it was so easily to float in the water!

Manarola, Cinque Terre
Manarola, Cinque Terre
Hanging out, holding up the leaning tower!
Hanging out, holding up the leaning tower!

The next week consisted of the usual: Breathtaking views of Perugia, attempting to understand Italian and eating a whole lot of food. The weekend on the other hand may be my favorite part of my entire study abroad trip so far! Colin and I traveled with the company Bus2Alps to Munich, Germany where we spent our weekend camping and attending the opening days of Oktoberfest! On Friday, we spent our day on a bike tour through Munich learning about the history and current customs of Germans. The bike tour wrapped up with a nice downpour and soaking wet clothing! On Saturday, we traveling to the festival (still raining mind you) in our lederhosen and dirndls! The best part was that we were in the Shottenhamel tent where the opening ceremonies were held. At noon, the kegs were tapped and we were served the Oktoberfest beer of the Shottenhamel beer tent! On Sunday, we stopped at the Dachau concentration camp to visit an important piece of history. The weekend in whole was amazing and although it consisted of long bus rides and cold, rainy weather, I wouldn’t have wanted the experience to be any different.

Celebrating at Oktoberfest!
Celebrating at Oktoberfest!
Oktoberfest Camping!
Oktoberfest Camping!

While I will have so much to share about my time abroad, that’s all for now. Over the next few weeks I’ll be spending more time traveling and taking advantage of every exciting opportunity that is offered to me.

– Theresa Messenger