Out of Italy But Not Yet EuropeSiena, Summer 2012

Though I am formally finished with my program in Siena, I still have much of Europe to experience before returning home for a comfortably short nine days between summer and the beginning of school. Over the next twelve days, I’m visiting Cinque Terre, Nice, Paris, London, and Dublin, respectively. Studying abroad has infected me with such a desire for exploration that did not exist prior to this last year. And it’s further increased my understanding of the importance of the logistical sides of travelling: of comprehending maps and considering cultural differences, of language barriers and tourist traps, among many others.

You see, I’ve always been a bookworm. I was the girl who checked out the maximum number of rentals from the public library. I was the girl who brought an atlas to school for reading period. I was the girl who perused the encyclopedia “for fun”. And while I learned a great deal in that sense, I’ve further discovered that there are certain things one cannot put so easily into words, cannot explain accurately through the medium of paper and ink. And I won’t try to express them here, but I’ve come to understand that there’s a whole lot of learning occurring outside the covers of a book, too. I say that almost begrudgingly, knowing the towers of textbooks that will be awaiting me in the coming weeks. But studying abroad is quite corollary to a vacation at times. And while it’s a wonderful respite from the traditional manner of learning, one must return to work eventually. And with that, I wish you all a fond “arriverderci” and happy travels wherever the world takes you next!

 

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