The Beauty of Travel

Erika - Montrose, New York
Entered on September 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

As I walked down the aisle, I stared curiously at the unfamiliar faces surrounding me on both sides, wondering who they are, where they are going. I continued down the aisle, watching people lean to their sides as I continued with my overweight bags. As I finally sat down, I looked around at my friends, all who were chattering nonstop about what the next week would bring. Minutes later, the quiet hum of the engine turned into a roaring noise, as I felt a sudden jolt followed by movement beneath my feet. Before I knew it, the buildings, the cars, the ponds, and the roads all slowly began to get shrink. After about nine hours and a bumpy arrival, our plane stopped as a woman appeared saying “Benvenuti all’Italia.”

“Welcome to Italy.” The words caused an immediate increase in my heartbeat as I peered out the window, looking down at the hustle and bustle of the airport. I was finally here.

For the next week, I spent my time visiting different places in Italy, such as Rome, Florence, Naples, and Pompeii. Each city had something unique about it that made it stand out from the other, whether it was the people, the scenery, the history, or even the vendors on every street corner. No part of Italy was identical; each place provided me with a different feeling of awe and admiration.

For the next week, I spent tons of money on the trendy fashions, jewelry, and art, all which differ from the traditional American styles. I spent my time consuming gelato at every possible moment with my friends, even if it meant sneaking off just to get one quick scoop. I took pictures of the beautiful architecture; the Parthenon, the cathedrals, Pompeii, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. I tried desperately to converse with the everyday citizens of Italy, even though I only had the knowledge of an Italian 1 student. More importantly, for the next week, I tried my hardest to absorb as much of the Italian culture that I possibly could.

I believe that travelling helps to define who you are as a person. I believe it offers you the chance to step away from the traditional, everyday society of the United States and experience something new and completely different. It allows you to discover your true passions, likes and dislikes. Travelling, especially to another country, allows you to view life from a different perspective. Being immersed into the Italian culture allowed me to acknowledge and appreciate the various styles of living and culture that exist in the world today. I believe that my visit to Italy helped me to realize that the world is full of life and different cultures, and that with travel, the possibilities are endless.