Written by Hayley January 31, 2019
I am off to Italy! Embarking on any new journey comes with a myriad of emotions and thoughts. I said my goodbyes to my parents outside the airport, and as I entered the airport sliding doors, I could feel a sense of nervousness, freedom, and excitement. I soon met up with other CIMBA students, which was comforting being with the familiar group.
As I was sitting at the O’Hare airport with my fellow CIMBA goers, it was safe to say the pre-departure jitters were setting in for most of us. I must say the jitters weren’t too intense, rather they were the typical emotions for anyone starting a 3-month journey in another country for the first time. Those feelings being the unexpected travel variables, leaving loved ones, and honestly, just the unknown of what the future holds in a different country.
The traveling itself went abnormally smooth which I cannot complain about being that this was my first time maneuvering around airports without my family. The group of about 20 CIMBA students stuck together the entire time, making the process easier for everyone. Conversation among the newly acquainted (and some prior acquainted) group flowed easily and effortlessly, as everyone was clearly stoked to begin this new adventure. As the travel day wrapped up, thankfully, nobody’s luggage in my group got lost! The only minor issue I ran into was in the London Heathrow airport with my carry-on liquids being in too large of a Ziploc bag, but I was able to discard some inessential liquids including: hand sanitizer (sorry mom), mouth wash, and mascara (I packed two containers).
I am not going to sugar coat the traveling tiredness. I told myself I really needed to focus and make sure I was alert to gather my suitcases and keep track of my other items. By the time I reached Venice, and this is speaking for the group as well, the exhaustion was real. I pulled myself together, got my luggage and met the CIMBA transit at the exit gate. The CIMBA Resident Assistant was incredibly easy to find. Although the shuttle ride had a scenic view, I took that time to catch up on MUCH needed sleep. I tried to make myself take in the countryside, but sleep was a necessity at this point. I don’t regret sleeping because this is the route I will be taking to get to the airport for weekend trips. I will have plenty of time to see this countryside.
Overall, the traveling experience went smoothly and painlessly. Whatever jitters I had in the beginning of the trip completely diminished after arriving to the CIMBA campus. I can already tell this group of people here are ready to study, travel, and make memories that will last a life time. Ciao!