Marte Eggleston is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2016, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A journalism major at the Indiana University, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.
In her first post as a CAPA blogger, Marte shares her pre-departure thoughts before heading to Florence!
T-minus four days before I leave the snowy landscape of Indiana behind to head for the beautiful, Italian views of Florence. I do not think the magnitude of what I am doing has hit me quite yet; I am mostly too excited to be scared, but I will admit that I am a little nervous!
I have never traveled this far alone, but I believe that if I can get through it I will gain the confidence to travel in Italy and Europe. It is not my first time traveling overseas, though. The first time I traveled, the destination was very different from Florence. I traveled to Malawi, Africa for about three and a half weeks during the summer of 2012. My trip to Malawi could not be more different than my trip to Florence, but having traveled abroad before I had the confidence to apply and ultimately accept my opportunity to study in Florence this spring.
I feel as if I have been talking about going on this trip for years; I started researching study abroad opportunities when I was a freshman at Indiana University, but it feels as if I have been dreaming about this opportunity for my entire life. I have always been curious about the way the rest of the world lives. I never wanted to limit myself because I was nervous or scared. The confidence to go out into the world really comes from my family’s support and their own willingness to travel themselves, and I truly cannot wait to share all of my adventures with them.
From all of the research I have done in the past few months, I have come realize that I could not have picked a more idyllic destination than Florence. As I narrowed down my choices, I realized that there was only one place that could fulfill my study abroad dreams and that one place was Florence. One of my greatest passions is food and cooking, and there is no better place to learn about and grow that passion than Italy (sorry France). The culture and the people just celebrate life to its fullest, and I cannot wait to live out that philosophy.
I have also watched enough “House Hunters International” to know that, as an American, I will not totally be prepared for an Italian apartment, but I pretty sure that will just be a part of the fun! And ideally I will be able to pack and have room for all of my shoes; after all, I wouldn’t want the Italians to think that I have bad style.
I guess I should have also thought it through that I do not speak any Italian yet…again I will chalk it up to the experience. These past few weeks I have been trying to take a crash course in Italian so let’s hope it does not all go out the window when I try to order gelato for the first time. My mantra for learning Italian and the whole experience in general comes from the great Mindy Kaling, in her book Why Not Me, “If you’ve got it, flaunt it. If you don’t got it, flaunt it. ‘Cause what are we even doing if we’re not flaunting it?” I feel like this is the only way to think as I am going to a completely brand new situation that I mostly have no control over.
Staying positive in the face of any adversity is what I need to remember most. I hope that communication to and from home does not cause too much stress, mostly for my own sake and for my mom’s. But I mostly cannot wait to share, in words and pictures, my future amazing experiences. It is still a little unbelievable that I will be living in a foreign country for about four months, but as the day I am supposed to leave comes closer and closer I better start really wrapping my head around the whole idea!
Marte's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned.