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Hello New World: Jamie Milletary, Landscape Contracting

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Posted: October 19, 2014

It's amazing the independence and resourcefulness that can be developed through traveling.

Preparing to travel abroad in Italy was an experience I thought I had taken proper measure for, but how do you prepare yourself for an experience that has no definition. It is what you make it. I had a little more to prepare for, at the end of the Study Abroad program I extended my travels for another 3 weeks. Visiting England and the Netherlands with a few pit stops along the way. My experience with traveling was a full range of emotions. I have never been out of the United States, I had no idea what to expect or even how to pack. By the end of my travels I am confident I could advise others how to pack, travel, prepare and so much more.

I expected to be a confident comfortable individual in Italy, especially being of Italian heritage. However, I was shocked by the language barrier and living differences, I really became homesick! This was not what I ever would have expected of myself, lucky for me I had the extra time to let this phase wear off for me to really enjoy Europe and the UK. I struggled with ordering food at restaurants- I felt uncomfortable not knowing their native language, and almost rude and disrespectful for it. I missed free tap water with my meals. I missed food without carbs, cheese or meats. It was a lot of adjustments I really had not considered when preparing. In hindsight I also am able to realize a lot of these troubles are not based on the Italian culture being very different but rather the aspect of being a traveler in and out of hotels visiting predominantly touristic restaurants. I feel as though I really did not experience the culture through the study abroad program, it's hard to introduce a group of students in a short time to a culture. I do feel as though I had incredible opportunities visiting and viewing some of the most beautiful, picturesque scenery’s and historically valued locations.

Villa MonasteroAs I was exploring Italy, England and the Netherlands I picked up several skills that I didn't take notice of until I was back in the States reflecting on my trip. It's amazing the independence and resourcefulness that can be developed through traveling. An interesting aspect of traveling, at least in my experience, is everyday wasn't all filled with adventure and laughter, there were days I was tired of being a world explorer and wanted to be home and working/making money rather than spending it! But even with these days included I've learned it’s all a part of the great picture that forever changes us. These days helped me value the concept of home and safety. The privilege of being an American with all of our accommodations that we take for granted every day. We live very comfortably, even if in “our world” it's not considered comfortable. I have learned we have great privileges, advantages and ease living in the United States. 

I loved traveling. I love that I had the privilege and opportunity to learn more about other cultures, nations and people. I love that I have a dozen stories containing destination points from around the world. Most of all I love that I have used this experience to learn and grow bettering myself to be a person of the world, not just the United States.