Embarking on the Grand Tour

Waiting at the gate to board my flight across the Atlantic to Rome was filled with the anticipation of the coming European adventure. My mind was racing with thoughts of things I may have forgotten, and questions like, “Did I pack enough underwear?”, “Do I have the right adapters?” and double, er, triple-checking to make sure I didn’t drop my passport somewhere in the airport. Suddenly, the announcement for boarding comes on and I realize that this is it. Once I step onto the plane, I cannot worry about these things any longer. With whatever challenges arise, I have to and will be capable of handling them. I realized that it didn’t make sense anymore to panic about situations that would probably never happen and things beyond my control in that very moment.

After arriving at FCO, I needed to meet up with the rest of the group and professors who had taken another flight. I stood at the arrivals area and watched, scanning every face coming through the exit doors. After almost an hour, I started wondering if I missed them or if I was in the wrong area of the airport. I decided to walk around trying to find our tour leader who was supposed to have a sign for our UGA group. After my second or third pass by all of the hotel shuttle drivers and numerous other tour groups, I did begin to get nervous. If I missed the group, I would somehow have to make my way to Pompeii by myself and I had no idea how I would accomplish that. At that moment, I heard, “Teri!” I turned around to the source of the voice and it was Dr. Smalley! All of my worries then subsided and I understood that I could trust myself and my instincts and, as long as I followed them, I would be alright on this amazing adventure.