From the time I saw a globe as a little girl, I have dreamt of traveling the world. I remember staring at the spinning orb in my father’s office. Beneath my fingers, the shift in mountain ranges noted across the dappled colors on continents between the great seven seas.

Adventure, story, and curiosity exist to be explored. My love for travel led me to study Art History at FSU. It fueled my earliest international trips and left my heart eager for more.

When the opportunity came to travel to Europe with my best friend in August 2018, I jumped at the chance. We set our sights on Paris and Rome, with extra adventures in neighboring towns. We saved, dreamed, planned, fought with websites in foreign languages for reservations, and secured our Airbnbs. Then finally, the day came.

J’aime Paris! The bubblegum painted macaroons calling from the window display, sweet wafts of baguettes permeating in the afternoon air from the corner bakery, cobbled sidewalks along the canal, and every detail my heart was desiring on that long cramped plane ride over the Atlantic.

The Musée du Louvre! My art historian heart burst at the seams to explore the hallways and galleries. What would my friend’s response be to the wonders and treasures contained within those walls? However, I did mention that we traveled to Paris in August, right? That plane ride was exhausting and crowded. Here in one of the world’s greatest treasure troves, I fell ill from exhaustion, breaking into a cold sweat, my only relief found on a corner patch of marble floor outside an empty gallery exhibit.

I tried to muster the strength to pass through the galleries. My friend looked at me with utter exhaustion, “I’m not happy.  There are too many people. It is 100 degrees in here and we have to go.” I felt defeated, yet, relieved while glued to my current marble floor corner.  We managed to create an Uber account and secure a ride to our Airbnb, and crashed.

The next day we did our best to hit the reset button and reintroduce ourselves to the city. We discovered the West Bank, walked around the Eiffel Tower, delighted in crepes with espresso, plundered through local markets, and allowed the historical architecture to woo our weary souls.

This did the trick, rest and resolution.  We did not settle for the frustrations of our first day. We regrouped, determined to find joy in our second day and remaining journey. Isn’t this how life ebbs and flows? There are the wonders we dream of doing, then the reality faced when the rubber hits the road, where we fight to make dreams our reality.

We know this as advisors and staff that spend our days focused on our students and their story. Our students arrive on campus their first year, bright-eyed and full of hope. Each semester brings its challenges. There are bouts with exhaustion, struggles to study and adjust to college life, and the path to discovering where one belongs on campus, finding that niche, your home.

It always makes sense on the dream side, complete and whole and possible. Once the journey has begun, things seem to get lost in translation where we become confused, disappointed or discouraged. It’s this wrestling process between the dream and the journey that brings us to resolution. Our growth and glory are found on the other side.

A smile sneaks across my lips when I recall the kind Parisian strangers who helped me learn the train system to Lisieux when I was hungry and needed a nap before my long afternoon journey. How greatly was I in need of their patience; I was so lost in my lack of working knowledge of French. I made it through. There were amazing treasures to behold along that journey. The sweets from Chocolat Chapon, the countryside, magnificent cathedrals, Saints, and bells tolling through the town.

 

About the Writer:

Diana M Calabro - Bio Pic

Diana Calabro, a Tallahassee Lassie, grew up cheerleading for the Garnet and Gold long before she could sing the Fight Song.  With a heart for travel she is usually planning her next trip to her favorite Florida castle or international pursuit.  When not traveling you’ll find her steeped in deep conversation, water bottle in hand, with maybe a good book, or if you’re just lucky enough, you’ll catch her laughing about a silly amusement that only she could paint.