Encounter As Text
“Trip of a lifetime” By Alexandra Alsina of Florida International University, January 27 2023.
Image of Cinque Terre by Udo from Pixabay
My first encounter with my class left me even more excited and eager than I was before about having the opportunity to travel to Italia for a month this upcoming Summer. This trip is something I have dreamed of doing since middle school when I took my first Italian language and culture class and fell in love with the country. I made a note on my mental bucket list back then that I would one day travel to all the beautiful cities my Italian teacher spoke to us about with so much love. I want to explore further the few things that I have already learned about and discover all of what Italia has to offer. After taking a few years worth of Italian courses, I am also looking forward to finally practicing and putting to test my Italian skills and conversate with the locals to really immerse myself in every city we visit.
I am both motivated and nervous about this experience. I can’t wait to walk the streets of Italia and experience the culture shock as I take everything in for the first time. I look forward to my first Italian coffee and delicious pastry to start my morning off on May 9th and proceed to walk through Rome and admire the architecture, art, and history hidden in its walls. I am nervous about many things, starting with being away from my husband and pets for a whole month and traveling so far on my own but I know the homesickness will go away when I stand in the center of Rome and see the Colosseum standing two feet away from me. It is a big push out of my comfort zone but an exciting one. I am also nervous about the physical aspect of this trip as it will be a drastic change in my routine of staying home immersed in video games and anime but I will be trying to incorporate more exercise in my day-to-day before the trip so I am not the student that gives up halfway through the Cinque Terre hike.
When I think of Italia, I picture crowded cobblestone streets, with towering historic buildings and many small stores and restaurants. I picture the famous colorful cliff in Cinque Terre and a picturesque gondola going down the flooded streets of Venezia. I have never been to Italia before but have a general concept that was formed through my classes, travel videos, Assasin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and Medici: The magnificent.
My goals and expectations of this course start on a social level with making lasting connections with my classmates as we travel together as a group on this unforgettable trip and make memories of a lifetime. On the academic level, I expect to expand my overall knowledge of art, architecture, history, and culture. On a personal level, I expect to gain more independence, travel and language skills, and to push myself out of my comfort zone. The thing I look forward to and fear the most on this trip is the Path of the gods hike. I love nature more than anything and am excited about the incredible views at the top. Hiking through a mountain is the most impossible thing to do in Florida so I am looking forward to this challenge and unique experience in Cinque Terre. Fear of change won’t hold me back in this class and I look forward to embarking on this incredible journey.