differences in Italy and america

10 Things That Surprised Me About Traveling In Italy

I didn't realize how much I took for granted in the U.S.


While traveling in Italy, I quickly learned that there were many things different than from the U.S. I immediately realized that there were things that I took for granted but also many things that I wished I had in the U.S. Throughout, the different cities we visited things that I was most surprised about did not change in one city from the next. I learned that the norms that were completely different than from the U.S. which I expected but didn't realize how big the differences would be. Here, I write about all the things that surprised me about traveling through Italy.

1. The food quality is better than the U.S.

They have higher food restrictions for the food they serve. Italy serves a lot of fresh produce and has a lot of markets for people to buy fresh produce.

2. You have to pay for water

We have taken this for granted in the US. You want to save money, you order water. You have been dying in the heat and desperately need a drink, you want some water. You won't be drinking unless you pay their outrageous price for it.

3. You will be paying to use the restroom

paying for bathroom

Make sure you have some pocket change with you at all times or you will not be able to do anything! This includes basic tasks like using the restroom.

4. You don't have to tip your server

In Italy, they are given good wages so they aren't relying on tips. Many tips are included in the service charge. Many people tip as courteous for good service but it is not required.

5. There are pick-pocketers everywhere

They will do anything to have you distracted to pick your pockets. In Italy, you have to be aware of all your surroundings. At any moment, your stuff or money could be stolen in a blink of an eye.

6. You won't eat pasta every meal

I think when people think of Italy they think of pasta. I thought that I would be eating pasta every meal. That was not the case though. I tried many different types of food through each city I visited in Italy.

7. There is SO MUCH traffic

You need to get to your dinner reservation at 6 but you end up showing 45 minutes late because there is no organization in the street. There are mopeds weaving in and out of cars as people are trying to walk through the streets. You will be moving an inch a minute.

8. You will eat more cheese than you ever had

You will eat so much cheese in every meal. Whether you order the cheese plate for an appetizer or you eat a Caprese salad for lunch. Cheese is sprinkled on almost every dish you'll eat in Italy. So your cheese intake will be highly increased in Italy.

9. You will fall in love with expressos

Every corner is a coffee shop. Most people in America would want to drink coffee but everyone in Italy drink expresso to boost their energy for the day. It is was normal for tourist and locals to be stopping at coffee shops every day.

10.  Touristy places are way more crowded than they seem

On Instagram, you see the clearest pictures of travel bloggers in front of the Coliseum without people in the background. Those bloggers must have stood in position for 3 hours because there are people constantly around you inches away from you.

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30 Places Every Millennial Girl Needs To Travel To BEFORE She Turns 30

Live your best life, all around the world.

I am a travel enthusiast. There is nowhere I do not want to go.

Traveling the world is one of my biggest goals in life and I am determined to make it happen. The world is so big and I would love to see every inch of it at some point or another.

However, if I can travel to these 30 places before I turn 30, I will feel as though I have accomplished more than enough.

1. New York City, New York

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

3. Grand Canyon, Arizona

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

5. San Francisco, California

6. Los Angeles, California

7. Nashville, Tennessee

8. Honolulu, Hawaii

9. Walt Disney World, Florida

10. Chicago, Illinois

11. Nassau, Bahamas

12. Cozumel, Mexico

13. Cancún, Mexico

14. Bridgetown, Barbados

15. Basseterre, St. Kitts

16. Philipsburg, St. Maarten

17. Montego Bay, Jamacia

18. Christiansted, St. Croix

19. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

20. Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

21. Tortola Baths, Tortola

22. San Juan, Puerto Rico

23. Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

24. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

25. Oranjestad, Aruba

26. Mykonos, Greece

27. London, England

28. Paris, France

29. Barcelona, Spain

30. Rome, Italy

Okay, so these are 30 places I want to go out of like, a million. I have traveled to some of these places and would not hesitate one second to go back.

Every new place is like a new adventure, and traveling will forever be so exciting and intruiging to me.

Cover Image Credit: Maisa Teat

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Valuable Takeaways You Will Get From Studying Abroad

The things you'll remember most won't be the "crazy parties", but memories much more meaningful than that.


Everyone who studies abroad always comes back saying the same cliche things, such as how study abroad absolutely changed them or how they feel like they just belong in the place they studied in. Others will boast about skipping all their classes and partying every other night, which in a way, are also unique experiences. After 4 months abroad, I can assure you that although there is some truth in all of those statements, the reality is more of a mild mix of all of them. You will create unforgettable memories with friends and spend time partying it up in the city, but you will also come to genuinely appreciate your city for its small quirks instead of the major touristy activities. Regardless of your experience, however, here are some lessons everyone will have taken from their time abroad.

1. More Independence

No matter how well traveled you were before starting this semester abroad, when you're thrown into a foreign country with no one familiar, you'll be forced to grow up quickly. From figuring out how to interact with your non-student neighbors to figuring out meals every single day, studying abroad will help you grow up quickly. This may be the first time that you'll be away from everyone you know for more than a few weeks, and you'll have to find ways to cope with it.

2. New Perspectives

After spending more than 10 years in the American education system, learning about events like World War II and the Global Financial Crisis from a non-American perspective can be extremely eye-opening. Interactions and discussions with international students from other countries will leave you baffled at how many major things in history that your public high school education back in America never taught you. Picnics with your classmates will reveal new foods that you have never been exposed to, but that you now love and must eat once a week. The world is a diverse place, and it required you to get out of the country to truly realize it.

3. Travel opportunities

In the US, you could drive 7 hours from Los Angeles and still end up in California. In Europe or Asia or any other place, transportation methods under that same time can get you to another country or even multiple countries. Instead of a weekend trip to the mountains in the same state, you can take a train from Paris and end up in London a mere two hours later. With different countries so close together, take as many chances as possible to explore as much as you can. That being said, don't forget to travel within your own country and thoroughly explore the place you're living in!

4. Lifelong friendships

Even if you're an introvert, you'll find someone you can get along well with while abroad. Slowly but surely, you'll make that study buddy, gym buddy, boba buddy, or whatever-else-you-do buddy. Realistically, you won't be able to meet up with these people anytime soon after your time abroad, but you'll become so close to them during these few months because you're all on your own for the first time. Every few years, you'll still be compelled to meet up and catch up with them. Every time you visit a country, you'll be able to hit up the friend you made while studying abroad who lives there.

Everyone's study abroad experience will be different, but as long as you put yourself out there and make the most of your time abroad, you will come home with some of the fondest memories of your life.

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