Italy is an incredible country with a long and impressive history, the artifacts of which can be found on nearly every street corner. The museums are practically bursting with paintings and statues made by the some of the most famous artists in the world. The food is legendary, yet it’s even better than you might expect. The wine, the people, the culture, the romance, the ambiance… I simply cannot put into words how much I loved the time I spent in this country!
The first cities I stayed in were Sorrento and Rome, both of which were incredible in their own unique way, but it was the next stop, Venice, that really opened my eyes to the value of traveling and experiencing other cultures. Most of the trip, I had stayed with the group I was with, never straying from the carefully-planned itinerary or doing my own thing. In Venice, we were finally let off our leashes to explore the city as we desired.
To the tourist, Venice is a labyrinth of streets and canal bridges that all look the same. It is easy to get lost, and that’s exactly what happened to me. I could see how tourists could spend a week in Venice and never see what it looks like outside of the main shopping areas around St. Mark’s Square, but I wandered through the empty stone streets surrounding it for what felt like forever. There were more than a few moments of panic; getting lost in a strange city is not always a comfortable feeling. In the end, though, I came to the realization that I would be just fine, even if I didn’t find my way back to the group or the hotel. There was magic in those streets, and the ghosts of Mozart and Vivaldi to keep me company. So even if I was stranded in Venice, I knew there were much worse places to be.
Of course, I did manage to find my way back and soon after, I returned home to the United States. But that trip had awakened in me the desire to travel and experience other places. Denver, as much as I love it, is nothing like Venice. And as different as the two cities are, surely there are other cities equally unique! Eventually, I want to see them all.
Many people fall in love with international travel the very first time they do it and I was no exception. What about you? Where was your first adventure abroad? I would love to read stories similar to mine in the comments!
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