Bella Chaos

Written by Whitney Cravens, Bama student, on our Veritas Rome program! Read more of her blogs here. Check out the Italy program here!

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This is all to give you a small window into my life at the present moment: bella chaos, they call it in Italian, or beautiful chaos. Yes, my life is full of times such as these where I am a spectator in a mad, mad world. Italy is a constant overload of extreme senses- bright colors, overwhelming smells, loud noises, and delicious tastes—and I get to experience these each and every day as an avid people watcher and curious explorer. In fact, every moment is an adventure just waiting to happen when you’re living in Rome.

So whether you almost get run over by a Vespa on the sidewalk in your neighborhood one night, you’re delivered a plate of the most disgusting looking pasta you’ve ever seen (squid, anyone?), or you spend another morning’s bus ride with your face in yet another Italian’s stinky armpit, I’ve learned that most importantly here in Italy, you just have to roll with it.

Rolling with it isn’t always easy. There have been many frustrating moments this semester and I’ve been tested in more ways than I ever could have anticipated. I’ve struggled to make and keep friends, I have come across random health problems, and I have had to fight constantly to remain spiritually fed in an alarmingly “satisfied” world. Studying abroad certainly isn’t all instagrams and peachy memories- no, it a legitimate trying of the mind, body, and soul. There have been days where I’ve just wanted to throw in the towel (that I have to hang dry, mind you) and book my flight back home, and then there are other days when I think of every way to stay abroad as long as possible and can’t bear the thought of leaving my beloved Rome.

So this here is to the last two months of volatility and exploration, two months I have spent finding my way by losing it, wandering the many alleys, villas (parks), libraries, and gelaterias of the Eternal City of Rome in the most wondrous and chaotic land we know as Italia.  I want to write more about my adventures and mishaps with each passing day & I can’t wait to share them with you.

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Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-2

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