Notes from a Semester in Rome
A good friend of mine sent me a quote the other day as I was about to embark on my European adventure, it said “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” I found it so perfect and pertinent to my life, especially as I was on my way to Rome for what is bound to be the best 4 months of my life.
The Travel For Teens Blog
My name is Christy Campli and you’ll be hearing from me weekly right here on the Travel For Teens Blog. For the first month, I will be writing dispatches from Rome about getting settled in abroad (watch out for some insider tips about this amazing city), and after that we will branch out to other travel-related topics. Stay tuned to find out how to pack smart, how to find the best food abroad, why the smartphone is a traveler’s best friend, and so much more.
My personal Travel For Teens adventure started on a school trip my class took when I was a senior in high school. The company leading our trip was “Travel For Teens.” The 10 days I spent in Spain with TFT were a life-changing experience. My counselors, Johnny, Phil, and Isaac were truly saints for leading 23 girls around a foreign country, with astounding patience, kindness, and abundant knowledge. The trip sparked an interest in me to travel more and before I knew it, I was obsessed. Fast forward to 6 weeks after my trip, when I was offered a position at TFT Headquarters. I immediately jumped at the chance, and TFT has been a huge part of my life ever since.
In the past 3 years, travel has truly become a passion of mine, and I have Travel For Teens to thank for that. Hours of reading itineraries, communicating with my 50-some coworkers all over the world, sorting through pictures for the “Foto Friday” blogs, and a cherry-on-top spontaneous trip to Scotland and Ireland have inspired me to travel as much as possible in my lifetime. But TFT hasn’t just made me travel-obsessed, or an efficient planner and expert flight-searcher – my job has taught me to seek adventure, immersion in a culture, to give back to the community, and appreciate art while traveling. While most 21 year olds want to travel to typical tourist spots, I have off the beaten track places way higher on my list. I am lucky enough to have the input, recommendations, and stories of my extremely well-traveled coworkers to guide me and get the most out of every experience.
Beginning my Semester in Rome’s Coolest Neighborhood
I am currently writing this blog from the most beautiful, quaint, and sought after neighborhood in Rome: Trastevere. Just yesterday I arrived at my apartment here, complete with an old fashioned gated elevator and large wooden doors. This is such a great neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet it still boasts some amazing spots. I keep asking myself if it’s real, and I still haven’t quite confirmed that yet. Even better is that our particular building and surrounding area seems to be filled with locals which is so exciting for me. I was afraid that studying abroad in Rome would just be a semester with a bunch of Americans relocated in Italy, so I have vowed to make a conscious effort to shop at local markets, practice my Italian at the small shops around our street, and hopefully volunteer with English conversation at a local high school (if I can find the time between traveling on weekends..and the whole studying part of study abroad).
As I continue to get settled in, I am excited to get lost down the tiny winding streets of Trastevere, find the best spot for aperitivo, and try to convince myself (and others) that I could pass for a real Italian.
Before I sign off, I have to thank two very important people in my life without whom this would not be possible, and that is my parents. They have been so supportive and prepared me for abroad, even threw me a huge birthday party before I left so I got to say goodbye to all my family and friends. I am so thankful to have this opportunity and I can’t wait to see what is to come.
Ciao for now!