I tried to get all my thoughts together before I boarded my first flight, but here I am half way through my second and I still haven’t written anything. Also there’s no wifi on this flight, so I’ll post this when I actually get to Rome and insert my phone’s international data card (hell yeah Italian apps!)
The pictures are my goodbyes to Cole, Brenna, and my mom at LAX. Dry eyes are not our forte, but I’m not ashamed to say that it was really difficult to leave, knowing I won’t see them until Christmas. They’re proud and I’m excited and I refuse to cry on a plane full of sleeping people!
Despite being an extremely goal-oriented writer, I have no idea how this blog is going to turn out by December. I don’t want to set any major restrictions on myself, so I can’t guarantee updates every day or even more than once a week. Spoilers, there will be swearing, hopefully some in Italian. This is more for me than anyone else anyway. Mom if you’re reading this, you’re probably the only one and I love you for it!
Like I said, I’m half way through my second flight. First was LAX to Chicago, and from there to Rome. It was surprising and intimidating to hear all the natural Italian accents on the first flight. Learning the language was one thing, putting that knowledge to the test will take more than a flight to Chicago. The best were the two little kids who demanded that everyone “guarda!” as we flew over the Midwest.
In between flights was the only really exciting part. My itinerary said that I was supposed to be on the same plane, but a flight attendant told me to go a different gate in order to transfer to Rome. Knowing that I had an hour, I stopped by Starbucks, took my time getting to the gate, and didn’t even bother looking at the big boarding itinerary next to it. It only took me fifteen minutes to realize that all the accents around me were British, not Italian. I might pretend to be a linguist, but intuition is my strongest suit. The gate was definitely the wrong one, I wanted Italy not England, and my actual flight ended up being across a huge section of ORD. Huge as in, yes it was only from gate K to H, and yes I was out of breath when I got to the right spot. Obviously I made it, and with time and snacks to spare. Though to be honest, I was proud of myself for just having made the flight. This has been my first time outside of the U.S. and my biggest solo trip to date, so I’m counting the little miracles as well as the big.
The woman sleeping next to me is going on a cruise from Rome to Greece when we land, and next to her there’s an elderly couple who I sat next to on the flight to Chicago. Cole mentioned that my world was about to get smaller when I left. I believed him, but the physical reinforcement of everyone’s individual path is making it seem huge again. There are only so many places on earth – so many being like billions, but still – and yet we’re all still going different places at different times for different reasons. It was an easy concept when I was in high school: not all of my friends had my exact class schedule, but we all got our degrees. Then university hit, with hundreds of classes with hundreds of students pursuing any number of degrees. School is such a microcosm for the bigger world.
Seems obvious, but I won’t erase the ideas because I think they’re important. A small world doesn’t equal small lives. Easier said than done, and easier read than understood, amiright philosophers?
My next post won’t go as deep into the anthropologic lens of travel, I promise.
Three and a half hours to go!


3 thoughts on “Here Today, Gone Tomato

  1. As I just told your mama……I want to punch you in the face….but in the loving-I-wish-I-were-you kinda way. Your words sparkle!


  2. Emily, it’s Grannie Annie following your blog. Wish we could be a little mouse on your precious shoulder. We’re praying for you. So far can’t get pictures only your words. Love you


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