January 11th. Well, I leave on January 10th, arrive on January 11th, lose a day because of the time change, etc. Irregardless, the departure date that begins my four-month escapade throughout the country of my ancestors is fast approaching – it’s just under two months away. As I sit here, avoiding the study guide for my exam tomorrow afternoon, now seems like as good a time as any to get my travel blog up and running. Note the name – Painted Travels actually travels!!

More than anything, I hope to use this space as a forum into which I can dump my pictures, in hopes of avoiding a thousand-image Facebook album at the end of the semester. I’d also like to reflect on my semester here, since I am about to start a journey of experiences that are entirely foreign to me (no pun intended).

Currently, I’m feeling like I know next to nothing about what my spring semester will look like, but at least I know which classes I’ll be taking. Italian 102; Italian Culture: Food and Wine; Gender and Politics in Contemporary Italy; Human Rights: the View from Rome. I have high hopes for a semester of learning how to detect the flavor notes in a glass of pinot noir, but I need to remind myself that classes in Rome still come with readings, exams, and papers. I am studying abroad, after all.

Ci vediamo!

Update November 15th: I just found out I have been awarded one of the JFRC Alumni Class Scholarships for the Spring semester – $1,700! I am entirely surprised, since the website said that scholarship winners would be notified at the end of October. This is just another layer of excitement for the semester to come.


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