Serendipitous Moments Ahead

Written by Katie Carpenter May 21, 2019

Italia. Never did I imagine I would have the fortune to visit this faraway land. To have the privilege of traveling on my own, away from all that is familiar, is truly a gift. Crawling out of my comfort zone will allow me to grow, become a more independent woman, and expand my worldview. There is a wealth of information and experiences to be had in the world and dipping my toes in the water will surely spark in me a desire to travel and only strengthen my passion for learning about the world around me.

I’m picturing myself sipping a cafe latte in the quaint coffee shop near campus, sitting by the window and gazing out at the beautiful Dolomite Mountains. It’s hard to wrap my mind around it. Soon I’ll be on an airplane, being sent to a country rich with culture, tradition, and a whole lot of food. Have I mentioned that that’s what I’m most excited about? My future blog posts will most definitely be full of my memorable experiences with Italian food.

I’ve done quite a bit of research for the trip. Most importantly(!!), I have marked numerous recommended restaurants down on my google maps account. I’ve never used this tool before but I would highly recommend it. I made folders for each city and pinpointed places that I know I want to go, as well as important places like the airport and train stations. Familiarizing myself with the land and having directional awareness will be key to being smart and staying safe. 

During the last few weeks of school there was a lot of emailing back and forth with my grandma and grandpa who were biking and hiking in southern Italy. This was so so fun. Each email was not only a glimpse into what my grandparents were up to, but a glimpse into what I would soon be experiencing. I saw pictures of markets, Italian chefs, countryside villas, artichoke trees, and homemade ricotta. She met an Italian cook at the airport and he was reading a book called, “Why Italians like to Talk About Food” by Elena Kostioukovitch, so of course I had to buy it. I’ve been reading it and it is so fascinating to learn about how food is really integrated in all aspects of Italian life. Just as we may talk politics at a family gathering, they may go on and on about the fresh heirloom tomatoes that they picked that day and how they are by far the best of the season. It always brings a smile to my face when my grandma talks about how she can picture me strolling the narrow streets and shopping for food at the market.  She knows how much I will appreciate the Italian life. One of her texts that stood out to me was when she said, “Some of the best times are those serendipitous moments…finding the unexpected cafe or maybe striking up a conversation with someone from another country.” That’s what I’m aiming for on this trip. Lots and lots of serendipitous moments.

My plane takes off today and I will soon be soaring through the sky on my way to a new adventure. This will be one for the books…I’m sure of it. Ciao! 

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