My Experience Being Abroad for the First Time in Milan – Alma Marmolejo

The preparation processes started a week prior to my flight taking off. I was very nervous because I wasn’t too sure what to expect during the 14 hour flight or when I arrived in Italy. One of the biggest blessing was to have a travel partner with me that has been to Europe before, it made the entire traveling process and getting to the hotel much smoother. Before I left the states I made sure I had all the travel essentials I needed to make the flight more comfortable and to sleep as much as possible while I was on the air.

The most difficult challenge was definitely the traveling and adjusting to the time change. It took us about 24 hours from the time we left our homes in sunny San Diego to be checked into our hotel rooms. So one thing I would recommend for students traveling such long distances is travel comfortably, download some entertainment, and bring a travel pillow and a cozy sweater. Another challenge was the language barrier so a month before departure I would also recommend learning common phrases, it really goes a long way.

One thing I wish I would have known prior or to arriving to Millan was the weather. It was much hotter than it usually is in San Diego and it changes more rapidly. The one thing I am glad my travel partner and I did before we left is research places we wanted to go to. That made our free time more enjoyable because we each had places in mind that we wanted to visit instead of roaming around randomly.

My time in Europe was truly life changing, it opened my eyes to a whole different world, being exposed to a different way of living made me reflect on the interconnectivity of it all. Italy is a country rich in culture, every place we visited had a story behind it. You could almost feel the ancientness and depth of the city through the cobble stone roads. It was truly a magical place. This trip was significant in many ways but the most important thing is that it opened up my appetite for traveling and experiencing new things even if they might seem daunting at first. For any student thinking of venturing out and going abroad I say do it. It is one of the best and most life changing experiences you will ever have.

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