Photography by Brianne Lee

Photography by Brianne Lee


Friday, April 4, 2014

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain falling outside. Normally, I would have groaned about this seeing as the weather my first month here was nothing but rain. But today, I am taking full advantage of this weather by enjoying a slow morning away from the abundance of tourists that flock the streets of Florence on the weekends.
With midterms over, my class workload was much lighter this week leaving me with time to simply sit, sip my coffee, and reflect about various lessons I’ve learned from my travels thus far. These past couple weeks, you’ve read all about my adventures to varying cities and what my impressions were of them. I’ve decided to mix it up a bit today and share an important lesson I have learned while being here. 
I’ll be the first to admit that I often hold high expectations in my head about a place I’ll be traveling to. These thoughts often stem from movies I’ve watched, books I’ve read or pictures I’ve seen. I used to be one who would sit for hours pouring over books, websites, and films trying to learn as much as I could about the place I was traveling to. In fact, I would learn so much, that when I actually got to the place, I would get disappointed because it failed to match the image I had created in my head. 
I’m getting better though, I promise you. The more I travel, the more I am beginning to grasp that sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned. You should never rely on your expectations.
Despite this, I do believe one of the best parts of traveling is the expectation. Having something to look forward to. Knowing that you’re going to be confronted by an environment that’s entirely different from your own. The other side of expectation, however, is the risk of prejudging a place you’re visiting without having seen or experienced it yet and putting unrealistic expectations on the experience you hope to have there. When we expect travel destinations to fulfill some fantasy we’ve dreamed up in our minds, it’s easy to feel let down when your vision just simply doesn’t prepare you for the reality.
But here’s the reality: travel isn’t always easy or comfortable. Sometimes, you may not get your own way, but sometimes you will. You’ve just got to learn to roll with the punches and stay flexible so you can adjust your perspective to each new and different situation.
So although it’s sometimes hard to balance travel expectations, I’m learning to wipe my mental slate clean and to approach each travel experience like a blank journal, ready to record each moment as it comes.

Happy Friday!


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