My parents are strong believers in exposing my siblings and me to new people and places, and traveling to Ischia was no exception. Ischia is a small island off the coast of Naples, Italy. I visited the island seven years ago, and no one spoke any English, only Italian. My family expected the natives and guests to speak some English. However, we learned communicating was a great challenge. I only knew basic words such as Ciao and Arrivederci and of course how to order gelato in Italian. Except, I was fascinated by the Italian culture and decided to learn the language. I first started learning from the hotel staff, shop owners and natives but I really started to learn when I made friends at our hotel. I am very outgoing, especially when I meet new people, therefore meeting the Italian kids at our hotel was no exception. The Italians taught me helpful words, while I taught them English words as well. We learned about the similarities and differences of our cultures and developed great friendships on the trip. Since most of the Italian kids had never travelled to America they were eager to learn about how my family lived. Just like them, I was eager to learn how the Italians lived. Ischia was by far my favorite vacation spot not only because of the food, but the influence the trip had on me. The trip to Italy was very special; I not only made friends in Ischia but was inspired to learn Italian.
After my family trip to Ischia, Italy I felt I had become an Italian. Even though I had already taken French for years, I wanted to learn another language. I immediately enrolled in private Italian classes and will hopefully be fluent soon. For the past few years my younger siblings, parents and other relatives have also been taking Italian. My family is not Italian, but we are pretty close at depicting a typical Italian family. Like the Italians, my family lives a relaxed life. We enjoy spending time with one another and friends. Being able to speak a language with family and friends is an amazing gift. I try to incorporate the Italian culture within my family’s home as best as possible. Whether cooking Italian food, bonding over a home cooked meal or travelling to Italy, my family spends our time enjoying each other’s company. My family has also opened a business centered around our love of Italy. The store is called Ciao Bella and was opened just a few years ago.
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