Travel is unpredictable; just make the most of it

Katherine Sproles at the Piazza Michelangelo in Florence, Italy. Katherine is in Florence with a group of students as part of the Kentucky Institute for International Studies Italy summer program.   

Katherine Sproles

As I sit here alone in my hotel room waiting for a Florentine doctor, all I can say is that travel can be anything but glamorous.

This is my second day in Italy and the rest of my study abroad class is touring the city of Florence for the morning.

After endless days of travel running from plane gate to plane gate, harassed by Paris customs officers, and tons and tons of Italian rain my body was exhausted. I woke up this morning blissfully happy to have finally beaten jet lag only to realize that I felt horrible.

Of course I get sick in a country that I can barely navigate.

But getting sick isn’t the worst thing that could happen to me. Every study abroad trip bears problems.

You plan for the ones you can foresee but the others just teach you a lesson in humility. If I get lost: who cares? I am in a beautiful, romantic country. If I get my wallet stolen: who cares? I can cancel my card and use my backup.

I began my trip in Nashville where I got the wrong boarding pass and had to run back to the ticket counter and through security to make my plane—a less than smooth start, but I made it.

The airline lost one of my classmate’s luggage, laptop, and camera. She cried for five minutes and then spent the rest of the night celebrating she was in Italy. Her attitude and composure through the incident was and continues to be inspiring.

With only a month left in my program, I don’t have time to be sad.No one has time to mope or cry. We are just constantly celebrating and grateful for the opportunity to be here.

The attitude change is pretty amazing, but not as amazing as the food.