CIS Abroad Blog

Day 2: LIVE from Italy – Reconnecting with Students & Travel

Travel with Scott Tayloe, Chief Strategy Officer, CIS Abroad, as he travels to welcome our students to Italy, January 12th – 22nd, 2022. Day 2 – Arriving in Rome!

Day 2: Arrival – Roma!

The excitement of being abroad again is no exaggeration. It’s been over 2 years since I’ve been on an international flight. That’s over 700 nights since my body has experienced jetlag, over 16,000 hours since I’ve had to adjust to a major time change. 

I told my best friend before leaving that I wondered what it would feel like, she responded stating it will all come back naturally like riding a bike. Upon arriving at the Rome Airport I braced for long lines, prepared myself for all the documents that would be needed at customs, and told myself to take that advice we give to students and to simply be patient. 

What will it be like? Will it be different than before? Anxiety started to set in. Anytime we go out of our comfort zone or prepare to do something for the first time it brings forth some level of stress. The easiest way to deal with anxiety, cut out whatever it is causing it! The hardest part about this decision, you’ll miss out on some of life’s biggest adventures and incredible opportunities of learning.  Prior to leaving the states I informed a few friends and family members where I was headed. They immediately wrote back asking me to fill them in on what it was like. They too had anxiety and stress around traveling. 

Walking through the terminal en route to customs I saw a man drop his scarf. Immediately I wanted to yell “Sir, your scarf!” but I felt mute behind my mask. A woman caught my eye, I pointed to the scarf, she pointed to the man. She grabbed the scarf, ran after him, and patted him on the shoulder. He appeared very appreciative, as did she when she turned and caught my eye again. Upon arrival at Roma Termini, I quickly dashed to my connecting train down to Napoli.

Walking briskly towards my next platform my Florida blood quickly noticed the chilly air so I stopped to retrieve my winter coat from my suitcase. I put it on and began to walk away when I noticed a tap on my shoulder. A man behind his mask pointed to the ground behind me. My shower loofah had fallen out of my suitcase. Embarrassed to admit I travel with a shower loofah, I was relieved to notice at least it wasn’t a bright pink one that my daughter always encourages me to get.

Side note here for all the readers. I’m quite proud and open to using a bright pink shower loofah but showcasing it to the crowds of morning commuters in the middle of Roma Termini station feels a bit too personal. I then realized communication had changed behind our masks. It hasn’t gone away but just like anything in life it’s adjusted with the times. 

Pulling out of Roma Termini a feeling came over me. I had just landed in Rome, gone through customs, retrieved my luggage, purchased a train ticket into the city center, exchanged my Napoli ticket after missing my original connection, saved my boring white loofah from getting lost in a big city, and boarded my train. It was as easy as getting my morning coffee or like riding a bike. I had landed.