I viewed the ruins of the Forum in Rome with awe. It was breathtaking, everything I'd imagined it to be. It was a step back into history that I had taken, one I thought I'd never get the chance to take. After taking Latin for three years I finally had the fantastic opportunity to apply it to real life. I read the inscriptions that I could, excitedly and anxiously, touched everything I was allowed to, and absorbed my surroundings. My hands moved over the cold stone and history shot through my finger tips. I walked in the footsteps of people who had been there thousands of years ago. The place had buzzed with merchants, politicians, and commoners; now it was a ghost town, a left over memory of a place in time preserved between roads of modern machines. Our tour group made up of three twenty person groups of high school aged teens and their chaperones tapped along the cobble stones, following in the footsteps of our eager and vivacious tour guide throughout our whole Italian vacation, Sylvana, of a traveling agency named Explorica.
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Outside the Forum was an even more spectacular piece of the past, as the Colosseum shot up like a skyscraper in front of me. I was amazed that such a magnificent piece of architecture, something so large and difficult to build, had withstood the test of time and human trials. It had stood against war, weathering, and foundation, against all odds to be a representative of the Roman peoples in modern times; a true testament to their glory, strength, and talents. The stone, although bald of its marble glittered in the sunlight to my eyes. Its walls spoke to me through my fingers, and I had the same sensation I had in the Forum; that sensation of awe that one feels at discovering the past for the first time.
Throughout my whole trip in Italy my mind went back to my feelings at the Colosseum and the Forum. Nothing had ever made me feel so stimulated by history as walking into those two ancient structures. Even as we saw various other testaments to different times, I couldn't help but think back to those two places on our journey. I couldn't quite get the same emotional reaction as I had with the ancient sites. I fell in love with the ancients, and I fell in love with Italy.
I had this idea in my mind of what I wanted to become long before I embarked on my journey to Italy. Through taking Latin and developing a deep interest in the ancient peoples of Rome I had cultivated a certain affection for classics. Once I arrived in Italy and an entire ancient world opened its arms up to greet me, this idea which had been throwing itself around in my mind, of being an archaeologist, was finally sitting still. I knew what I wanted to do as a career, something I'd waited my whole life to discover. I'm anxious to uncover the next groundbreaking truth about myself. I don't know what it's going to be yet, but I hope it fills me with the same euphoric excitement as running my fingers along the walls of the Colosseum, and I hope it hits me like a block of marble. Happy travelling!
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