This is a huge mistake. My mind was racing with disastrous scenarios as I approached my gate. Looking around, I saw two other students sitting in the waiting area. Great, I thought to myself, the three losers who arrive too early and I’m one of them. In my haste to get to JFK, I had given myself too much time, and now I would be stuck waiting in this terminal for hours. I sat down on the small, springy airport chair and looked at the girl sitting across from me. She had long, straight brown hair, a huge Louis Vuitton bag and a silver knuckle ring on her middle fingers. She was reading A Room With A View; our study abroad assigned reading intended to prepare us for life in Florence. I had gotten as far as the first chapter before I tossed it aside and declared it useless. How was a book written in the fifties supposed to prepare me for modern-day Italy?
Typical NYU ideology.
View of Florence skyline
Perhaps one of the top tourist destinations in the world, Florence, Italy has a hidden charm just waiting to be discovered. While many visitors feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of art, history, food and architectural sights, the key to enjoying this city is a mixture of flavor, observation, and relaxation. Take your time to see the classic sights, but allow yourself the opportunity to sit in a café and take in the true Florentine experience. La Dolce Vita is not just for the Italian born.
I just started working with the Travel section for The Daily Meal.com and am LOVING the experience. You can check out two of my pieces below. Lots more to come!
Guide to Eating and Drinking at Burning Man
10 Iconic Boardwalk Eats
I am sweating. Opening my eyes, I realize that my air conditioner is off. Throwing myself out of bed, I walk over to the window and switch it back on. Ah… the cool breeze hits my face and I instantly feel better.
Pulling back my curtains, I can see that the day has already started. I head towards the kitchen to brew some tea. As I sort through the different tea boxes in my cabinet, my hand knocks against a tin container in the back. Pulling it out of the cabinet, I see snow covered mountains and the words Interlaken written across it. I had bought this tin of chocolates while vacationing in Switzerland and had forgotten all about them. As I stare at the mountains etched on the tin of truffles, I start to remember my own adventure on those very same Alps.
How to make the most of your Study Abroad trip:
me on a gondola in Venice, during Carnival
When I headed off for my study abroad trip to Florence, Italy I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that I wanted to have an experience I would never forget! During my five months in Europe I traveled to seven different countries, made friends with locals, learned to flirt in Italian and ate about ten tons of spaghetti.
I have always been a fan of ice cream. As a child, my ears would perk up at the sound of that familiar bell and I would race down the street, trying to catch the ice cream truck. It became a family tradition every weekend to go for an ice cream run and eat it on the porch during those lazy summer days. As I grew older, the local ice cream shop in town became a fun hangout with my friends where we loved to check out the cute new guy behind the register. It was a sweet, sticky constant and one that I knew I would always love. Until, that is I moved to Italy and discovered the joys of Gelato.
During my six months living in Florence, Italy I learned the joys of riding a train. Unlike the homeless filled subways of New York, the Eurostar, (and its cheaper equivalents) was a pleasant experience with large windows, clean seats and usually a small café on board. Although I was always eager to reach my final destination, I began to enjoy the ride through the Italian countryside as a trip of its own. I saw small villages with herds of sheep being shepherded into a pen, and beautiful valleys filled with flowers. It was a peaceful experience and each time I returned from a trip, I eagerly looked forward to the next time.