All through high school my family talked about a family vacation right after my high school graduation, and as long as I could remember my heart was set on Europe. First the plan was a trip to Scotland. After many ups, downs, and planning fiascos senior year came and went and long story short, we didn't end up in Europe. Instead, we spent a nice quiet week in North Carolina. What was important was we were together.

Fast forward to this year, my family has concrete plans to head to Europe as soon as everyone is out of school. This time the plan isn't to head to Scotland, it is to head to Italy. Words can not describe how excited I am for this trip with my family.

Last time I was with my whole family for a long period of time was winter break. My heart longs just to be back with my family, the people who know me completely, my parents that raised and nurtured me, and my little brother, my very best friend.

I can't wait to explore a new country with the people who taught me my true sense of adventure. My sense of going out and finding the beauty of my surrounds, whether that is Savannah, Atlanta, North Carolina, or Italy. I want to be walking up and down the streets of Rome or Florence

My family has a bit of an issue that I have completely inherited as well. You see, we have to get away from home and from our responsibilities to feel like we are really getting away. My family is a family of workaholics. It's a strength and a weakness of course. We work hard and we get stuff done. But sometimes that also means we have to go thousands of miles away to take a break from the craziness of everyday life and our responsibilities.

So with exams coming up, Italy is the carrot in front of my face. Of course I want to do well on my exams and end the semester on a high note, but Italy is really pushing me forward. When I close my eyes I can almost smell the fresh pasta getting pushed through the sweet summer air.

I'm ready to head across the ocean after tying a nice ribbon on the end of this semester. I'm ready to celebrate getting through my first year of college and reflecting on everything that I've learned, mostly life lessons and less of things I actually learned in the classroom.

The plan is that after I reflect, I'll save those for later, probably closer to when classes start up again, either my summer classes or fall classes back at Emory. At that point I will enjoy the time I have with my family, away from all of our distractions of work and school. Out of cell service and an ocean away from our responsibilities.