When I arrived in Italy, I got off the plane, walked through the airport, and got in a cab. After the scariest fifty minute cab ride of my life, complete with Vespa dodging and horn honking, I arrived at my apartment. Everything was fresh and new and so different! The sights, the smells, the heat. I already loved it. I couldn’t wait to go out and explore, but there were bags to be unpacked and there was Italy’s legendary food to be eaten.
That night, though, I was ready to go. I hopped on the metro and looked at what stops I could take. Coliseo, the sign said. Sounded like a great place to start. I walked off the train, up the stairs, and BAM! The Colosseum in all its glory. The structure has seen the rise and fall of the greatest empire of all time, the brutality of the gladiator games, the rise of Christianity, and survived the WWII bombings. For me to see it in person, thousands of years since its construction, was simply amazing.
Never had I felt more astounded, never had I felt more in Rome, than that moment. The smell of the restaurant next to me, the sound of people speaking Italian, the gelato in my hand… I realized, then, that this was the trip I was meant to be on, that this was where I meant to be at that moment. I was studying abroad, and this moment was more than worth any stress I was feeling from travel, filling out forms, and worries of going alone. I had made it. I was in Rome.