So Long, Farewell Italia

Trip Start May 24, 2011
Trip End Jul 12, 2011

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Thursday, June 23, 2011

Time always seems to fly by faster than you realize it. I cannot believe I have been in Italy for a month and that tomorrow will be my last day. The experience has been surreal and I am so blessed to have had this opportunity to study abroad.

Lately, I've been looking through the pictures that I've taken and I cannot believe everything that I have done. And in a month!! Are you kidding me? How can all that even be accomplished by one individual?  It's been a crazy, fantastic, roller coaster of a trip and I am just in awe of how fast it has gone. My favorite things of the trip were climbing the hills in Cinque Terre (the 2 hour mountain hike gave me the biggest sense of accomplishment), the potluck dinner with my fellow students (it was so nice to just relax and get to know everyone better), and taking a boat ride in Lake Garda (while it rained and we got soaked). I'm going to miss it so much.

Everyone else in the program here leaves on Saturday, but since I'm not yet heading back to the States, my train leaves Friday (tomorrow) after classes. All the students here are upset to go back, but I will admit I'm slightly jealous of them. They get to go home and see their families and tell them all of their wonderful stories and show them all of their amazing pictures. They get to sleep in their own beds and wash and dry their laundry properly and take an hour long shower just to be able to feel clean again. And what do I get to do? I get to venture out around Europe by myself until July 12th. Just myself. Me, myself, and I. Goodness, typing that out makes it seem so much scarier. I won't lie, I'm petrified to be out on my own for so long and it's not a sudden occurrence either. I've always been nervous, but considering I'll be all alone starting tomorrow, is simply terrifying. Things will go wrong and I am prepared for that (or so I'd like to think). And I know I'm going to have so much fun exploring the things I actually want to see and not having to go to another pointless church or museum tour such as the ones I've experienced here with school. I understand God wouldn't have allowed me to do this, if He didn't think I could handle it. Sigh... I'm just having difficulties believing that.

On a happier note, I leave for Salzburg, Austria tomorrow evening and arrive at 4am on Saturday. Salzburg is the location where The Sound of Music was filmed and I am ecstatic and cannot wait for the film tour on Monday!

Prayers are much appreciated right now for my safe travels and safety. I will do my best to keep you all updated, but am unaware of how much internet access I will have while staying in the hostels. I miss you all more than you can imagine and I'm always thinking of you. I miss each and every one of you!!
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Sarah-Anne on

It is totally scary being by yourself 5,000 miles from home, but it's also an amazing adventure. I will need LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of pictures for your scrapbook. We got your postcard today and Bella was so excited, until i got it thru to her that you weren't on your way over here. Have fun, make sure you get a croissant aux chocolat in Paris and tell me all about it. Well for that matter, eat lots of butter cuz Europe has the best butter in the world. nothing can compare, except maybe gelato.

Dad on

Rachel, Nice Blog. I can not wait too hear about the Sound of Music. I look forward to hearing about your travels. I have faith in you. You have lots of street smarts. Stay safe. Love Dad

rsmonterusso on

Rachel, if I can do it so can you. I have complete faith that you will be absolutely fine and have a wonderful time. Live it up. If you want any advice on London, let me know. I'm also headed to Poland tomorrow so I can give you advice on that to if you make it there. You should get internet in the hostels depending on where you are staying, but good luck. Have a great time and don't worry so much (not that I should be the one giving that advice).

Mom on

Rachel, it's okay to be a little scared. It will keep you on alert. That's normal. If people never tried anything new, our family would still be living in Poland! Just engage people in conversation (like you always do)and you'll get through it.

Crazy Fun Aunt on

Just remember what Maria did... When one door closed, she looked for the open window. You go girl.

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