Thursday, March 23, 2017
Exams are officially over! I didn’t think this day would come four days ago. I can’t even think about the next round of exams in May when we will all be simultaneously packing, saying goodbye to Florence and this life changing experience, and studying! So I’m going to bury that thought somewhere deep in my brain until it absolutely has to surface.
Philosophy this morning went better than I anticipated! I knew and understood more than I thought I did. The pre-exam walk around the Duomo definitely helped calm my mind and focus. Steven and I also had a nice walk together to Tetriz so I could print my boarding pass, Eiffel Tower ticket, and Anne Frank House ticket. Sasha and I leave at 7 AM tomorrow and hope to be in Amsterdam 24 hours from now! Very excited for my second to last international trip of my freshman year abroad. It’s bittersweet, but looking back, I can say I have had wonderful abroad experiences. I love being well traveled.
In between my exams, I went to Sit’N’Breakfast to do some Amsterdam & Paris planning and studying. At that point, I couldn’t study much more! The literature exam went very smoothly though. I was tired and took breaks by sipping water, stretching, staring at the European map, and listening to the noise outside. One of the beggars I pass every day on my way to class shouted repeatedly “Ho fame” (I’m hungry). I could hear it from my small desk three floors above. It was unsettling and unexpected yet memorable. The beggar situation in Florence is a major issue, stirring conflicting emotions within me on a daily basis. I wish there was a simple solution.
I am all packed for my spring break trip! Sasha did have to remind me to pack my passport though. And this time I am bringing flip flops for the showers at our hostels! We are staying in an 8 person co-ed dorm in Amsterdam. That’ll be a new experience for both of us! We’re a little nervous but also excited for a new, rugged traveler’s experience. In Paris, we’ll have our own, private room. This is another one backpack trip; I am a pro at packing light these days. I have this year to thank for that! Here’s what’s in my bag (AKA my MUST-HAVES):
- 4 shirts
- 1 pair of leggings
- Cosmetic bag
- Flip flops
- Travel documents/excursion tickets
- Deck of cards
- Pack of gum
- 1 pair of pajamas
- Phone charger
Sasha and I plan on doing lots of eating in Amsterdam and Paris (we’ll pass on the space cakes and edibles in Amsterdam), drinking of coffee in cute, trendy cafés, walking as much as possible, navigating public transportation, picking out unique stationery, hanging out in museums, and soaking in the sunshine (clear forecast for us)! We want to make it to Keukenhof in the Netherlands if we can. It’s the opening weekend this weekend! The recent, traumatic events in Paris and London cannot be ignored; however, we must remind ourselves not to live in fear and that bad things can occur anywhere. Socrates would agree in that living a life in fear is a life not worth living. Check back for travel updates! xo ~ e.