Hannah Hardenbergh is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An American History and Literature major at Harvard College, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.
In this week's post, Hannah shares about the time she recently spent in Cinque Terre and what it's like to be spontaneous in new places.
Ciao! As I sit on a train back to Florence from a day trip in Siena today, I can’t help but reflect on my adventures so far in Italy and consider the value of branching out, engaging in a new experience, and exposing oneself to new surroundings, both cultural and environmental. Being present and willing to stumble upon beauty (instead of searching for something in particular) has led me to many exciting moments during my trips in and out of Florence. I decided to try to do an activity in each place I went to; I hiked between the coastal towns of Cinque Terre, “The Five Lands,” I biked in the breathtaking mountainous terrain of the Dolomites in northern Italy, and, due to extremely good timing of my travels, I got to see a historical horse race in Siena today. While it may seem obvious that traveling exposes one to new experiences and excitement, I wanted to share my perspective on branching out.
Corniglia from above.
This post focuses on the value of having a non-plan and being present. While I get to share with you the beauty of the places I’ve visited, I also get to emphasize the value in engaging in my surroundings in social and physical ways. Having grown up in a family with a very active lifestyle, I love working out. It makes me feel happier and as a student-athlete, I really enjoy endurance training like long runs and bike rides, especially when there’s a destination. So, I knew that my love for sport and the outdoors could lead me towards new experiences in Italy as well.