Picture It...Siena...2016

Maddison Sullivan
June 13, 2016

Welp.  This has started out as an interesting journey.  I’ve been trying to write this blog all week, but I just couldn’t bring myself to it.  I spent the whole week spending time with various family members, trying to get the most I could out of my time left at home.  Honestly, I was pretty numb.

I’m the kind of person that doesn’t get excited about things until they’re happening.  It’s not that I don’t look forward to things. I just generally feel like everything is always forever away.  This is also a huge part of the reason that I procrastinate with everything, including packing for my trip. 

Despite the fact that I procrastinate, I started buying clothes for my trip a few months ago.  I know that when I go into a store, things rarely fit the right way and that I can’t just wait until the last minute to buy clothes.  Having accumulated clothes for months, my day-before-my-flight consisted of going from store to store with my always supportive mother, who so patiently watched as I returned everything, bought the same amount of other things, returned all of that, and continued the cycle.  She stood outside of the dressing room while I tried on 32 shirts (which I ended up hitting the jackpot with!) and she gave her honest (but always loving) opinion during a tedious dressing room session.  She truly is a saint.

With my last-minute shopping came, of course, last minute packing.  I actually didn’t sleep at all the night before my flight.  I packed and cleaned my room all night (you know, the room that I’ve been “cleaning” since I came home from college a month ago).  I usually don’t sleep before big events, including big trips, but this was exasperated by the fact that I received an email from Air France saying, “Hey, some of our pilots are on strike but some of them aren’t, so we don’t know if you’ll have a flight to Italy.  Check back with us later to find out!”

Well I didn’t want to worry my mom until I had to, but sure enough, at 12:45 A.M., the morning of my flight, I was told they could get me to Paris as planned, but then I was stuck there for an extra day.  That wouldn’t have been so horrible, except I was worried about finding a ride from Florence to Siena (my Italian is so not at that level yet), not to mention the fact that I’m well-versed in Spanish and decent with Italian, but I don’t speak a lick of French.  My parents put on their brave faces, telling me that a night in Paris would be great!  When else would I be able to say, “Yeah, I had nothing to do, so I visited the Eiffel Tower!”?  I told myself that this would be great, a night in Paris to myself, and it actually does sound quite romantic, but come on, that’s also pretty terrifying.

Fortunately, when I arrived at JFK, I found a lovely woman working at the counter at Air France who offered to put me on a flight with Alitalia, that will go from JFK to Rome, then from Rome to Florence.  I will be arriving in time to catch the bus that is picking up all of the arriving IES Abroad students and I couldn’t be more relieved.  I would imagine my parents are quite relieved as well.

So now, I’m enjoying a wonderful cup of clam chowder soup (unfortunately, not New England clam chowder, but it’ll do) and sipping a lovely (and quite large) Malbec in the JFK airport, soaking up all of the people-watching.


Until next time…


More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs

Maddison Sullivan

<div>I&#39;m a 21-year-old former Irish dancer, cheerleader, marching band member, and bagpiper. Right now, I&#39;m a psychology&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">student at Carnegie Mellon University where I bleed plaid! I also study Spanish and Italian and spend my free time&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">volunteering as a member of our student-run EMS organization on campus. I&#39;m beginning my journey as a world&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">traveler, starting in Italy, stopping in Walt Disney World for a semester, and ending in Spain. I love trying anything and&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">everything and I can&#39;t wait to take you on my journey with me!</span></div>

2016 Summer 1, 2016 Summer 2
Home University:
Carnegie Mellon University
Behavioral Neuroscience
Explore Blogs