Arrival in Rome and first thoughts…

While the apprehension for this trip and the success of it is still there, I can feel it melting away to excitement to return to Rome. I think the waiting area populated by dozens of Italians with their endlessly interesting language and over-exaggerated expressions and gestures has brought it on.


I Woke up this morning at a comfortable hour considering jet lag (8am) and laid there for a while thinking, “wow, is this really happening?” This is the first morning of an adventure I won’t likely forget for the rest of my life. I know the days will go quick here, and I’m going to make a ton of friends, and meet countless more, but every step in a foreign environment creates a vivid memory for me which is why I love traveling so much. As you walk down side streets and alleys, and try to find that hole-in-the-wall restaurant that you’re starving for, you’re really exploring the side streets and learning about how you react in different, unfamiliar environments.


So I laid there some more and got to thinking, “how does my dad do this?” We had nothing scheduled for the day besides getting over jet lag and stopping my Mikki’s Michelanea at 1330 for lunch. What are we going to do with our time here, and what can we do to make the most of it. I’m really ready to hit the ground running, and did all sorts of groundwork back home in Seattle to make it possible once I got here. But what does that really mean? I guess we’ll come to find out over these next few days.


Pat and I eventually made our way to get groceries and pick up some Italian SIM cards for our cell phones. With this last puzzle piece, I believe we’ve made it possible for those in the US to call our 1888 WSA Euro number, have that connect through our phone service to Skype which then gets forwarded on to the cell phone in my pocket while we’re on the ground in Italy. I hope it works!


 But about now, it feels that each individual thought has to tread through buckets of molasses to come to fruition, so I’m going to sign off, and stare blankly at the carpet. 


Katrina Alford, Concordia University - Irvine

Happy Backpackers

This past weekend, I traveled to Budapest with WSA with a couple of friends from my university abroad, and I couldn't have asked for a better trip! After arriving at the hostel, we met Bogi, our tour guide for the weekend, who was instantly friendly and welcoming. Throughout the weekend, Bogi was an amazing guide! She showed us some great places for shopping and food, as well as the top sights around the city. You could tell she loved her job and never passed up an opportunity to share about her hometown and some of its history. She was so friendly and was sincerely interested in us as individuals and did everything she could do accommodate our priorities for the weekend (whether it was food, shopping, nightlife, sightseeing, etc.) I would highly recommend WSA's guided tours for any student studying abroad who wants to explore more than their university's city!

Katrina Alford, Concordia University - Irvine ~ AIFS Richmond, Spring 2015

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