(義大利 La Posta dei Donnini公司實習生 外文系 張同學)
I peacefully stayed in my comfort zone for four years in my university life. Every summer and winter vacation, there are always lots of people in our department go aboard for different kinds of programs to experience the foreign life. However, I have never wanted to go any place like them. I am not interested in traveling because I do not like the place that I am not familiar with. This is the main reason why I did not apply any program before I attend this program. Until one night, I was busy staying up late for the boring and endless American literature mid-tern and I start to think about my future. I could not help but thinking that the pattern of life like this will last like forever. After seeing that there is a chance of internship in different realm, I apply without any hesitation.
At the beginning of the intern, everything is okay for me, because I was locked in a three people office. Doing an English Chinese translation which I am capable of. Instead, it is the lunch time that terrified me. There are always more than ten Italians gathering in the kitchen for lunch. When you just sit down, you will hear the unknown foreign language shooting like bullets around the whole table. Suddenly, I feel afraid and dizzy. Sometimes, I know that they are talking about me. Besides, you did not know almost anyone here because you did not have a chance. Until, being allowed to stay in the reception with different colleague, I try to change. I practice my ltalian and memorize people’s name within half a month. After these efforts, people start to treat me friendly Then, I can use my poor Italian to have a chat with different people and understand more about their life. It is necessary that you talked with people. That is the real way you understand the life of Italy.
Before coming to Italy, I never think that traveling will bring something important to people because you merely understand the history and the scenery. Until I start to travel alone to some meaningful place to me, I start to understand the meaning and why people are so crazy about it. Instead of traveling as a group, traveling by yourself give you more time to experience more different aspects of culture that a country owns. Staying in France for a week, I can see the food culture differences of bistro in France and Italy. Elegance and the neatness are the two elements that you could observe in plate and the design of the restaurant. On other hand, Italian food is more like a friendly and warm friend, normally they taste better than it looks.
Traveling alone is the real way to understand a culture thoroughly because you got chances to talk with people and time to observe. For example, after finishing my traveling in Copenhagen, I meet a Danish man on the plane. We talked about life, culture and traveling in Denmark, it makes me understand why English is so common in this country, also he shared his eating experience in one of the most famous restaurant which wins two Michelin stars in Denmark that makes me feel excited. I think these are the reason why traveling is so appealing to people.
The TIP experience makes me a stubborn to a more willing to embrace different possibilities. Also, it makes me experience different food culture which I am quite interested in. Besides, it teaches me the meaning of traveling to me. From these experiences, I understand myself more and have the direction of life.