As I’m gearing up to study abroad, I am getting more and more excited for the “writing-on-the-road” style of journalism I’ll be doing over the summer. Since I was a little late on the whole blog fad, every past trip I’ve been on is still locked away in a journal. So, in order to prepare myself (and psych myself up!), I decided to rewrite my past experiences traveling on my online journalism portfolio.

It’s taking a little longer than I had planned, as my writing style has changed in the past few years and I don’t remember details as well as I would have the day I wrote my journal entry. But, all in all, I’m really excited. Travel writing is all I’ve ever wanted to do and now I have a chance to do it, even if there’s no financial benefits (broke college kid, check).

Life has been passing so quickly now that spring break has passed. It’s like these last couple weeks just *snap* were gone. And although sometimes it felt horribly long (especially on testing days and all-night cram seshes), it’s amazing that there’s only two weeks until finals. I’m halfway through my college career, when just yesterday I was graduating from high school. Funny how that works.

A close friend gave me some advice yesterday. She and I were talking about future plans and college, you know, one of those heart-to-heart moments. When I jokingly told her I don’t want to grow up yet she replied, “Just because you grow older doesn’t mean you have to grow up.” And it hit me how right she was – the happiest people in my life are the ones who laugh every day, who goof off, go on adventures and love life. They are open to everything, keeping their positive attitude and knowing that good things always seem to happen to good people. I realize, my true goals aren’t really about acing my next test or getting that dream job – my goal is simply to enjoy myself, to meet great people and to keep my youthful passion for life. If I can do that I think I’ll be just fine.

So this is what I plan to do in Florence, Italy in the next few months. I am so thankful that I am able to experience living abroad and I intend to appreciate every single moment of it. I hope to take a page from the Italian’s book, be boisterous, adventurous and embracing. Their taste for life is so sweet – they give themselves vacations not as a treat for working hundreds of hours a week like Americans do, but because life is precious and shouldn’t be wasted behind a desk all day. They eat slowly because they take the time to savor every bite, knowing the care and passion behind the plate in front of them. And they smile and welcome people with open arms because love and kindness are the best qualities we can share. My only hope is that I can learn from these incredible people and may my life be just as dolce as theirs.


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