There are only three days left until I embark on the experience of a lifetime. In seventy-two hours, I will be boarding the first of three planes with my eyes set on one destination, Milan-Italy. My ambition is sky-high and my nerves are speeding up. Months of preparing for this opportunity and years of dreaming about studying abroad are finally here.
Growing up, I dreamed of immersing myself in big cities, different states, and far-off continents. Butler, my hometown, can be summed up into two words: Pennsylvania suburb. Imagine every rom-com where the big city gal comes home to visit family and later falls in love with an old friend from highschool; That's Butler. Located about fifty minutes north of Pittsburgh, Butler is known for its grey skies and steel city roots. Its most popular claim to fame is being the birthplace of the Jeep. Even on a cloudy day, the community of hard-working individuals can come together and have a great time (with their Jeeps of course).
IMAGE: The Duomo in downtown Milan.
Oh goodness, Milan is definitely going to be a change of pace! The metropolitan has an economic heart, some breathtaking architecture, and a modern fashion sense. During the Renaissance, Leonardo Da Vinci called Milan his home for 20 years. He left his artistic footprint on the city with the world famous painting, The Last Supper. As an arts student, I look forward to seeing all the beauty that this city has to offer.
IMAGE: A cemetery statue in Milan.
While I am excited to start a new chapter of my life, I struggle with saying goodbye to friends and family. Everyone is enthusiastic about my upcoming travels, but that does not make saying ciao any easier. Some have traveled themselves and are giving me oodles of advice. Some have never left their hometown and will live vicariously through my experiences. Either way, I am grateful for their support none the less.
“The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.” -J. R. R. Tolkien
So, here’s a thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way. To my family, friends, PSU and IES Abroad staff: This would not have been possible without you. The new decade is bright and full of endless possibilities. I am unsure of what these next four months have in store for me, but I know that I will make the most of my study abroad experience. Milan here I come!
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<p>As cheesy as it might sound, adventure is my middle name! I'm Danielle and I love exploring the world around me; whether that is in my small town or across the Atlantic in Milan, Italy. I am a Digital Journalism and Media student with a passion for videography. In my free time, I enjoy disconnecting from the digital space and having fun outdoors. I also love the arts and everything musical theater.</p>