Hello!! Sorry I was not able to post this sooner! It has been a very busy two days! So Friday was our “free day” where we could all spend the afternoon doing whatever we wished! A few of us were very interested in seeing more of the ruins that Rome has to offer and so our tour guide arranged for us to visit a place known as Ostia Antica! Which translates into Ancient Ostia. Ostia is an abandoned ancient city located on the river. This town served as a destination for incoming ships and such so that Romans could get the items they needed from overseas. Now a days visitors can see remnants of what use to be houses, bars, shops, public baths, etc. The trip cost 69 euros and gave us a few hours of touring with a magnificent tour guide! Our guide was so well informed, when I asked her how she managed to learn and remember all of this information she laughed! She then explained that in Rome to become a public guide all you have to do is take a test, they do not really have classes or things like that, that you can attend and learn the information you need to about the city and so you have to do a lot of research on your own. She said that she would spend days visiting locations before her tour groups arrived, to be sure that she had as much information as she could. In addition she would find as much literature as she could on her touring destination in an attempt to answer any additional questions tourists might have! She explains that being a tour guide is something you really have to love to do because you eat, sleep, and breathe the information (so to speak). All in all we spent about three hours on our tour and I managed to snap quite a few images, which I will be posting soon I promise!
After our tour of Ostia Antica we asked our bus driver to drop us of in the center or Rome so that we could do some last minute shopping, and visit the Spanish Steps one last time. Robin Pierce, Amy LaPorte, Samantha Hahn, Sara M, Adina and myself ventured around town for about three hours. We made a quick stop at a local bakery and enjoyed a mixture of delicious treats! A few girls purchased gelato cones, I decided to sample some homemade chocolate mousse! It was absolutely delicious and the bakery owner was so funny! After our sweet treats we ventured fourth to the Spanish Steps, as we got closer my knee started acting up (probably from all the walking) and so Robin and I decided to have the group go on without us and we took our time walking a little slower, peering in shop windows and making a few more purchases before heading back to our hotel!
Once we arrived back at our hotel we all showered, put on our best makeup and finest packed outfits and headed around the corner to the “Roof Top Garden” Restaurant for our farewell dinner! We arrived to find a room reserved with exposed brick walls, fine china settings, wine, bottled water, bread and olive oil and an Italian musician awaiting us! The exposed brick walls are remnants of the ancient Roman baths! As the musician continued to play classic Italian songs on his acoustic guitar we all found our seats. Once settled in the wonderful waiters of the restaurant served us their finest selection of red and white wine, and a bruschette appetizer that was out of this world! After enjoying our appetizers the waiters came back our, grabbed the hands of a few Bay Path College girls and began dancing with them in the middle of the restaurant!!! And let me tell you they have some moves that would put our Bay Path College dance team to shame Haha! We were all laughing and eating and drinking and having a wonderful time! Our meal included tortellini soup to start, an artichoke, chicken and potato main course and a gelato dessert!
After finishing our meals, President Leary stood up and asked us to each explain our favorite part of the trip. At this point, each girl stood up, one by one and explained in detail what resonated most for them and how this Capitals of The World Trip has been an experience none of us will forget. Highlights ranged from touring the Coliseum to sitting on the Spanish Steps, to gasping at the sight of the Trevi Fountain and simply snapping incredible pictures! It was at this point that it really hit me, I just spent and incredible week in Italy and tomorrow morning I have to leave and make my way back to the states. I started tearing up, as did many of the other girls at the thought of leaving this life changing place.
I didn’t mention this before, but in the weeks leading up to this trip I had massive panic attacks. I couldn’t sleep, I started eating less and I was truly debating on going because I have a desperate fear of flying and I had never left the country and so I was afraid I couldn’t do it. I was terrified that something would go wrong, our plane would crash (god forbid) or that any number of things would go array. But I talked to myself, and I told myself “there is no way you are going to miss this opportunity, I know you are scared but this trip, this trip is going to change your life” and that is when I realized….. It wasn’t really the fear of flying or crashing that I was most afraid of. I knew that traveling to Italy would change my life forever and that if I could do it, if I could really do this and get on that plane that I would be unstoppable! If I could fly to Italy with a group of girls I don’t know that well, spend a week there and come back, then from now on I would have absolutely nothing to hold me back. I will have confronted my biggest fear in life (flying), left the country and survived. I was afraid to meet my potential, I was afraid because I knew that if I faced my biggest fear I would no longer have any reservations in life and that thought was perhaps the scariest of them all!
And now, sitting here in my hotel the last night in Rome, I’ve realized… I did it, and you know what, I’m unstoppable.