I once heard a quote that said travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer. Unfortunately there isn’t a person to credit this quote to but I couldn’t agree more with this statement. The past 5 weeks of my summer were made up of the most magical, life transforming, picturesque moments that truly changed me for the better. This trip was everything I hoped for and so much more. Going abroad on my own sounded strange to some but I am so happy I took on the adventure by myself. I was pushed out of my comfort zone but I never felt alone. I was able to soak in every second of this dream experience surrounded by new friends that made Italy even sweeter.
Clearly spending 5 weeks in Europe without a job comes with a cost but this experience was absolutely priceless. I will never be able to recommend studying abroad enough. Every day I woke up felt as though I was literally living the dream I had been dreaming about since I was just a child. So many moments from the trip I sat in awe just trying to soak in the mental picture of the moments I never want to forget. Throughout my 5 weeks I was able to see 4 different countries and 17 different cities. Checking off places that had been on my bucket list for years was such an incredible experience. These experiences helped open my eyes to all the cultures around me. I feel like being so far away from home gives you such a perspective on who you really are and what you want the most out of life. Even after all my travel I felt so blessed to call Sorrento, Italy my home base. Sorrento is truly the most adorable town. It’s small, quiet, on the beach, and full of friendly people. This city felt like the perfect fit for me. The views from my classroom looked like something out of a movie. Leaving Sorrento at the end of the 5 weeks was so hard for me. I felt so at home here but I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to call it home for a short period of time. I hope to go back again one day.
My list of places I want to travel has grown like crazy this summer. Traveling is something that I want to prioritize as I grow older. I loved to soak in each culture in the countries I visited. At restaurants I typically asked the locals what they recommended trying the most. This worked out super well for me almost every time. The food was truly a highlight of study abroad. I also took the course Italian food and culture which gave me even more opportunities to try the delicious local foods that I still think about everyday. I feel like I found inspiration in each of the cultures I experienced. I feel like travel gives you the opportunity to find new ways of living and thinking to incorporate into your everyday life. In Italy they live a much more laid back lifestyle and don’t seem to sweat the small stuff. I now prioritize my rest much more and try to treat each day like something worth celebrating the way they do.
In France I was instantly influenced by their effortless chic sense of style. In Greece my inspiration came from their fresh, delicious, healthy recipes. Last but not least in Switzerland I was influenced by their quiet calm towns and extremely friendly people just to be more like them. The only other place out of the country I had visited previously was Honduras and from that trip I took home the appreciation for the small stuff and learned to be much less materialistic. These are the reasons I think travel is so priceless. Traveling feeds your soul. I think as humans if we ever have the opportunity to see somewhere we have never been we need to take it. It helps you to find perspective. Travel is full of endless learning opportunities that help you to only become more successful. I am convinced that travel is priceless.
Olivia Stovall (BA Communication) spent Summer 2022 studying abroad in Sorrento, Italy through CIS Abroad. Olivia had the following to say about studying abroad, “I cannot recommend this experience enough. My 5 weeks felt like something out of a dream. Southern Italy is truly such a magical place full of the most amazing people. It is the trip of a lifetime. Do not be afraid to do this program on your own.”
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