“Wow, that looks like a scene from Under the Tuscan Sun!” I heard a teenage girl shriek. I was sleeping, although doing so quite unsuccessfully. I turned around in my seat to look out the giant window of our bus to see the most gorgeous sight my young eyes had ever seen: the Amalfi Coast of Italy. I knew that many people around the world would love to see the striking cliffs and oh-so-blue water, and I was one of the few lucky enough to actually be there. At that moment, I felt completely at peace with myself and everyone in the world as I thought back on the events that brought me to where I was.
I had not had that same fuzzy feeling for my entire trip to Italy, though. I had never been more sleep-deprived in my life, and it seemed like we never had a chance to catch up. You see, I went with my mother, my Latin teacher, and two fellow Latin students. Our small group, mostly wanting to learn about the Roman empire and Pompeii, which we had studied intensively in class, joined a MUCH larger group from Maryland, and those kids were trouble. Every single night, they ran up and down the halls, banging on doors and keeping everyone awake.
The problems did not stop there, though. Out and about in towns across Italy, those crazy Maryland kids badgered us. In Florence, we had to adopt one of the less popular children into our groups because the others kept abandoning him. In Rome, they caused us to be late to what would have been a very interesting dinner. The worst thing they did, though, was at the ruins of Pompeii.
Our group from back home was overwhelmingly excited about spending the day there, where Mount Vesuvius froze everything in time when it erupted in 79 A.D. We were supposed to have the entire day to be in the city with a guide, but the Maryland group acted like idiots the entire time, and the guide gave up after an hour and a half. That meant that we, who just wanted to walk around and see in person the city we knew so much about, had to go back to our hotel in the middle of nowhere and think of something to do for the rest of the day. Pompeii Day turned into a disaster.
Sitting on that bus, though, looking out at the stunning Amalfi Coast, where people have escaped to for thousands of years, I realized that I no longer cared about the bothersome Maryland group. I knew that I was on the trip of a lifetime, and all of the setbacks could be weaved into an amazing memory that will last for eternity, at least for me. Right then, looking out towards the striking blue waters of the Mediterranean, I was completely happy with everything in my life.
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