I Live to See the Wonders

It is a fascinating feeling, attempting to become a part of a city completely and blending into its culture, its personality and its surroundings. That feeling of being completely alien but simultaneously at one with a new place is my passion. I love travelling to different countries and seeing new things; it’s what I live for. In my short life I haven’t been everywhere, and that thought alone makes me itch to see it all.

In high school, I was given the unique and amazing opportunities to travel to Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Out of all the cities I visited in Europe, Rome was my favorite. It was so different from anything I had ever experienced before. It intrigued me, and my favorite thing to do was to walk around and explore the cobblestoned streets and narrow alleyways. One of the best days I have had the good fortune to experience in my life happened while I was there.

My friends Allison and Karen and I were tagging along with the rest of our group while they went to eat lunch at the Spanish Steps. This was all of our first times to Europe and we were a bit hesitant to explore on our own. The first couple of days we followed our chaperones around like puppy dogs, unsure of ourselves and slightly intimidated by the metropolitan chaos of Rome. However by the end of the week, I was ready to break away from the group and go on my own adventures.

Realizing that it was now or never, my friends and I decided we would go exploring by ourselves. It was the best decision we could have possibly made, because free from the rest of our loud, very American looking group, we had a new release. We had the freedom to blend in to our surroundings and become a part of Rome.

Once we got over our excitement about finally being able to decide for ourselves where to go, we walked up the beautiful Spanish Steps, and immediately were sidetracked by a street vendor selling his art. It was the idea of buying art off the street in Rome that captivated Allison and I, so we stopped and looked at his paintings. I love spontaneity, and decided that I should buy one of his pieces of art. The painting I bought is a golden depiction of the Tiber River, and in the background you can just see the Castel Sant’Angelo with the trumpeting angel on top. It hangs in my room to this day.

After we bought our paintings, we walked to the Bhorgese Gardens, which is a huge, beautiful park. When we got there, the sun was high in the sky, shining on the odd looking trees. The trunks were skinny and fragile looking, and at the very top the leaves bunched together in little tufts. They cast shadows on the ground that looked like crowds of people gathering on the cracked pavement.
After examining the map of the park, we determined that within the gardens, there was a looping pathway that led around the park. We started at one end, and said we would walk the entire loop. This loop took us through some fascinating places. It led us through an ancient stadium in ruins, and through a white marble archway. We passed a zoo and heard the monkeys screaming. Soon we found ourselves in an enclosed garden filled with statues of roman gods and goddesses. We went around and tried to identify all the statues, and found we could recognize only Hermes (Mercury in Roman mythology), the messenger god, and then only because of his winged shoes.

My friends and I realized that the sun was getting dangerously low in the sky as we came to the exit of the garden. It was time to go back to our hotel, but we all found we didn’t want to. Reluctantly we headed towards the street we could see at the end of the path. As we reached the street, we all looked longingly back at the park. It now represented our independence. As I watched, the fiery ring of light that was the sun sunk below the rim of the strange and perfect trees, and I thought; this is what I live for… moments like these. The wonders of life that are all there, just waiting to be explored. I live to see the wonders.

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