In June of 2018 I got the amazing opportunity to go to Italy with a little business called Walking Tree. They started out as just a couple of guys who wanted to make travel easy and accessible to high school aged people. I had previously gone on one of their trips to Costa Rica back in 2015. Ever since I have wanted to be more involved with their company. I got the chance to chaperone their 2018 Italy food & culture trip and it was life changing.
I couldn't tell you everything we did every single day, but there are so many places forever etched into my mind. The first of which is Siena. When people talk about their trips to Italy they almost always talk about the big cities: Venice, Rome, Florence, ect. But Siena has never left my mind. The sense of community in this small city is overwhelming. Twice a year, people from all walks of life gather in the city center to watch their burrows horse race against everyone else's. It's hard to explain, but an amazing sight to witness.
Second place that will forever be etched into my mind is Verona. Perhaps you are familiar with this place? Juliet's garden is located here. From the gorgeous cobble stone streets to the cafe's tucked far into the winding roads, this place has my heart. One of the funner things to do is actually go touch (or rather grope) Juliet's boob. If you do, you're supposed to find your true love. How much truth that holds, I will never know, but it's extremely fun to go up and grope a woman's statue who is long dead in front of hundreds of onlookers waiting to do the same.
The last place that will forever be etched into my mind is the Vatican. This is because I overheated while inside. Because it is a holy city, you (women in particular) aren't allowed to wear shorts. So, I pulled my green sweatpants over top my shorts out of respect for the church. After several hours of wading around in non-air conditioned buildings we finally found ourselves in the Sistine Chapel. By this point I had been bumped into, accidentally groped, and elbowed several times. I was also, still wearing the sweatpants (mind you). By the time we had exited, my stomach was killing me, and with every step my vision grew darker and darker. I eventually had to sit down on the side of the road where the group leaders bought me fruit and water and myself and two other group members were escorted back to the hotel. A painful experience, but one I wouldn't trade for the world.
I just want to say a HUGE thank you to Walking Tree for allowing me to have these amazing learning experiences. I will always place my love for travel on you.