I’m currently typing this while in class. I know, I’m a horrible student but if I don’t type this up now, I don’t know when I’ll have the time to. School is almost over as we have only three weeks left, so work is piling up as final projects and exams are due. Amidst all these, I remember that I have been here for three months and a week now. My study abroad experience will be over in less than a month and I’m crying. It is crazy to me how quickly time flies by, like how did 3 months fly past?
Being a student this semester has been very different. I feel like my mind is always trying to process whether I’m in school or on vacation. When I’m not traveling on the weekends, it is easy to be in the rhythm of school but once I take a weekend trip, I’m confused and find it hard to concentrate on studies for a couple of days. This is why I appreciate the weekends when I just stayed in Rome, relaxed and explored the city I live in. It gets easy to forget that I’m living in such an important city because daily living in Rome is anything but glamorous. However, when I take the time to remember that I have have only a short time in Rome, my perspective starts to change.
I love that I have explored Rome on three separate weekends because I’ve had a different experience each time. The first time I explored the city is documented in this post (it’s worth a read). I was such a tourist that day, merely sight seeing with little understanding of most sights. The city was so new to me at the time and I was excited about everything.
The next time I ventured around Rome was the weekend after my Lisbon trip. My roommate’s dad visited Rome and we showed him around the city. I explored Villa Borghese (a huge park) and went to the Borghese gallery to study some art pieces for a class presentation. I was proud of myself this weekend because I discovered parts of Rome that were linked together. I realized that the park was close to the Spanish steps, which is close to the Trevi fountain, which is close to other places I had come to know. I also discovered that atop the Spanish steps is a church (I thought it was the Spanish embassy). My face when I realised that was probably hilarious, I was looking for the steps using google maps, only to find out there were below me. For the rest of that day, I wandered around and took in sights of the city that I have become more familiar with. I’ve seen all the popular monuments three times or more which is crazy!! I’m trying to get enough of them before I leave.
The most recent time I ventured out in Rome was alone two weekends ago. I got sick that week and didn’t feel like traveling. Plus, I had some places I wanted to explore in Rome. I started my day later than I wanted to that Saturday because I can’t seem to wake up before 10am these days, except when I have to wake up early for flights. This is a shame and I need to stop the bad habit. I visited Vatican city and climbed to the top of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica (church). I really wanted to make it up there before I left Rome and I’m glad I did. The view was amazing and I learnt more about the history of the church. A cool thing that happened was that I witnessed a proposal up there.
I also went down to the Vatican grottoes and saw the tombs of popes, and the burial place of Peter in the bible, how cool is that??? After the Vatican, I walked to Castel Sant’Angelo, where I crossed the Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge with angel statues.. It was nice to be in the cute torusity part of Rome again. The night lights were pretty and the voice of a lady singing made the atmosphere relaxing. I shopped afterwards and went to Chinatown for a yummy bowl of beef noodle soup. I was happy I went alone and explored at my pace the whole day, it was perfect. Also, I didn’t have any data, so I was going places without google maps, and I didn’t get lost. That means I kind of know the city now! I’m so proud of myself hahaaa.
That is all I want to share with you today. It’s been three months of living in the Eternal City and it is so surreal. I can’t wait to read this blog post when this experience is over and remind myself of the memories. Although, life here is not always rosy, I am truly grateful for the experience. Also, anticipate my final blog post of my time here for a total summary of my study abroad experience (including how I’ve learned to appreciate a warm shower). Until then, I hope you are well.
Have a great week!