In all the craziness in getting back to school and work, I've neglected to write about my study abroad experience over the summer. My last update in May detailed my plans for the summer, including my European itinerary. We were originally going to stay in Dublin for a couple very short days, then meet with our classmates and professor in Rome. Our plans ended up changing a bit when our flights got delayed right from the start and we were stuck in Chicago for a day and a half - it took a toll on my emotional sanity, to say the least. The airline rerouted our flight to go straight to Rome (where we would stay a couple days on our own before meeting up with our class), then we'd (thankfully) still get to visit Ireland after studying abroad by extending our trip a couple extra days.
I found that I learned a lot about myself by traveling in Europe without any sort of help. I learned to navigate the cities safely, "blend" in, and converse with the locals. I became very thankful for the kindness and understanding of the people there. Oklahoma is, unfortunately, sorely lacking in public transportation of any sort. This made the European public transit system even more of a learning experience, especially since each country has its own unique system. Although I missed my family by the end of the month, I already feel more capable of living on my own in another city.