Friday, July 9, 2010

First post: On the crest of a wave

Hi everyone! I'm writing this blog to give me some way to record my thoughts while I'm abroad in Italy for the next six weeks, and to keep me connected to all of you back home. This is my first time traveling to Europe, and the longest period I've ever traveled by myself, and without a phone to call home, for that matter. At this point, I'm more than a little nervous, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to survive on my wits once my trip actually gets underway.

This blog will be a record of my most noteworthy experiences or thoughts. It will not necessarily be an exhaustive record of everything that happens to me between now and August 19 - I don't think logs like that are particularly interesting to read or write, and my first goal with this thing is to be interesting. I hope you enjoy going for the ride along with me. :)

At this point, I have some rational fears and some irrational fears. Right now, my rational fears include the fact that I don't speak Italian, the fact that I am still waiting for my fellowship check to clear less than 24 hours before my arrival, and the fact that I'm going to a completely new place armed with maps that may not have enough detail to keep me from getting lost. My irrational fears include a worry that I might starve because I don't know how to ask anyone to bring me food, and the possibility that gypsies might throw babies at me, and then steal my purse (thanks Anna J.!). Well, I'm not so afraid of the second one. They better not try anything like that on me.

Anyway, here I am in my family's living room, showing off my look of trepidation and my new Kelty Red Cloud (Christmas present from Charlie), all packed up with six weeks worth of clothes, first aid materials, books, electronics, and portable cutlery. If I do a little dance while wearing the bag, my salt shaker clanks around inside my metal wine glass in a way that makes me sound delightfully like a hobo. Thankfully, this is one backpack that actually works, so carrying it is actually rather pleasant.

How am I going to sleep tonight? Tomorrow morning, I get to fight with the bank some more to try to get things resolved, and then by 5:30pm, I will be on a plane out of Newark taking me directly to Rome. From there, I'll take a train to Florence, and my adventure will begin.

Sounds like I have plenty of good reasons to stare at the ceiling while counting sheep tonight!


  1. So it begins, dear Sarah: six weeks of discovery in some awesome places. A feast for the eyes, a feast for the soul and a feast for the palate! Stay safe and stay serene. Ciao!

  2. Just got the link to your blog... Have an awesome time! Enjoy being an intellectual hobo! It's great fun... :)