Like many MVNU students, I took spring break to recharge and prep for the final stretch of the year. However, while my respite wasn’t restful in the traditional sense, it was restorative in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
I spent two weeks in Italy.
Milan, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Siena, Assisi, Pompeii, Sorento, Rome.
The weather was unusually cold. Some days it was colder than back home.
It snowed on our last day in Florence. I have a picture of some snow on a palm tree that I’ll probably get framed.
The food was to die for, of course.
Almost other worldly.
I got adventurous with some cuttlefish and octopus, but I of course ate lots of pizza and pasta.
Some of the best food came out of these little hole-in-the-wall-joints that we just happened upon.
Physically and emotionally, it was actually quite exhausting.
Spiritually, it was just what the doctor ordered.
A barrage of colors, faces, sights, sounds and smells.
I cherished the ability to grow closer to people, and, more importantly, myself.
I experienced the wonders of God’s creation in a way I never had before.
I’ll never forget the view on top of the mountain that Assisi sits on. A storm was rolling in, but the sun was still out and a few golden rays peaked out from the dark clouds to kiss the town below.
I stood in awe.
The countryside is dotted with vineyards, olive groves, sheep, and majestic mountains.
It seems a million miles away now and yet still so close I feel like I could reach out and touch it.
The most frustrating part of the whole trip was the knowledge that I couldn’t share my experiences with anybody else. Nobody outside the other 30 or so explorers with me knew what I had been through.
I can never explain what it’s like to peer up at the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
I can tell you how much I loved the Duomo in Florence, but I can’t describe the sense of awe or how you can almost feel the stars in your eyes.
Pictures just don’t do it justice.
Those two weeks were such a whirlwind, I’m still trying to mentally unpack everything that happened.
I might have seen more of the world and of life in those two weeks than I have my entire life.
The world is so much bigger than Mount Vernon, Ohio; it can be easy to forget that sometimes. See as much of it as you can!