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. 


Lauren Wallender, Elon University

Happy Backpackers

I definitely have WSA to thank for my exceptional experience in Amsterdam. One would think 4 days isn't enough to tour a city but WSA facilitated an optimum weekend full of sightseeing and fun. Amsterdam may have a notorious reputation for its lax drug and sex culture but there‚Äôs so much more to the city. Luckily, our tour guide, Arthur, native to the Netherlands, steered us away from the tourist traps and showed us around his beloved city, highlighting all of its gems. I'd definitely like to try other WSA trips in the future. It's hassle free traveling with an awesome itinerary - nice that the tour guides are flexible with the schedule and willing to cater the itinerary to the group's interest! Highly recommend WSA to any student with only a weekend to see a city.

Lauren Wallender, Elon University ~ Fall 2014

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