So my friend and I completely messed up our dates. I was supposed to meet up with her on the weekend of December 3rd-5th, when I booked my ticket for December 10th-12th. 

Nooooo! I booked the round trip ticket, Airbnb, the taxi and everything! I went into panic mode–I am going on a solo trip to Rome. I would have no idea what to do there, how to get from point A to point B, what places to see, how to get there etc., what was I going to tell my parents?? And most of all, I was going ALONE. A city I have never been to, completely unaccustomed to its culture, values, etc. I messaged my Airbnb host that my trip would be solo this time because of a mess up in dates. She reassured me that in Rome, I would always discover something to do in a “city of wonder.” On the verge of a decision to either cancel my tickets and booking or just go through with it, my friend and my gracious host Viviana placated my anxieties. I decided I would go through the trip. I know this sounds super “Early Twenties-Crisis/Eat, Pray, Love/That Chick on Instagram Who Puts Wanderlust in Her Bio” but I thought it would feel kind of liberating to be in a new place completely on my own, free to roam (or ‘Rome’ hehe) anywhere, on my own time and be spontaneous. 

Capitalone. It is HUGE

I decided I needed some introductory guidance to Rome so I signed up for a free tour of Rome that started near the Capitoline Hill, a giant white building with Italian flags, a structure of a man on a horse centered in its foreground. I was almost late to the tour, but eventually found a large group of people huddled, with a sign that said “Free Tour.” I struck up a conversation with a young woman, who happened to also be traveling alone. She was a Stanford University student studying abroad in Florence who wanted the chance to see Rome before she finished her exchange. As we walked along, the guide showed us the ruins of an ancient society that once was:

The young woman asked if I wanted to tag along with her to the museum since we were both lone travelers (I won’t mention her name just because I didn’t obtain permission to talk about her). She told me she was going on a museum tour that would lead her into the Vatican and Capella Sistina (The Sistine Chapel). As we walked through the museum, making our way into the Sistine Chapel, I guess we were expecting to be completely swept off our feet by its sheer beauty, but my friend said she wasn’t feeling–though we didn’t fail to get our Insta moments by sneaking a picture of walls Michaelangelo painted centuries ago (you aren’t supposed to take a photo, but everyone does it anyway). I was captivated by the incredible detail. The sides of the Capella Sistina were adorned with what looked like silk fabric, but after blinking and squinting a few times I realized that it was actually painted fabric–that was the intensity of Michelangelo’s eye for detail. 

This was my elated smile after having made 60-second long eye contact with an incredibly handsome police-man in the Vatican  



Me smiling after looking at handsome police dude

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