See you in 5 months, or maybe longer. I’m about to go on the adventure of a lifetime or at least the adventure that can be held in one study abroad program in one semester of college that happens to take place in Rome – doesn’t seem so foreboding when you put it like that.

This semester has taught me a lot and I am prepared for the adventure ahead… I think. It hasn’t been a cakewalk, but it’s equipped me for a whole different experience called “life in the real world”. I have no worries about my fast approaching departure to Europe – T minus two hours and counting. I know this will be quite the experience and although it will be hard I know looking back at this time in my life I will not regret a single moment. Lets be real I’m traveling the world, who would! I appreciate your prayers past, present, and future as I embark on this journey. I’ll do my best to live boldly (and safely) and take as many opportunities as I can while abroad. Thanks to everyone for the support and help in preparing me for this journey. 

As I sit on an airplane for the next 24+ hours I will be doing a lot of reflection, preparation, and of course sleeping. Yes, I will be thinking about all of the things I have to look forward to, but I will also be considering the things I will not be a part of this semester. What I’ve realized is this isn’t just the start of something new it’s the continuation. My journey started a year and a half ago when I came to Belmont.

A couple days ago I received a package and it contained my “adventure essentials” which included a journal and a stack of letters from people who care about me. This whole time I’d been preparing for Rome I thought of it as something new and although the scenery will be a little different my support system remains the same. This will be a test of some of my friendships and a glimpse of life after graduation. WHAT?! Yes, I realized that when we walk across that stage we will be going separate directions. The plane I’m about to get on is definitely taking me in a different direction than Nashville and Chicago, but my life will always be intertwined with the people I have met and now call friends. Our stories are forever interlocked whether our journeys continue together or apart. The Lord has placed some incredible people in my life and all I have to say is thank you. Thank you for loving me, encouraging me, supporting me, and showing up. I am forever grateful.

I don’t know when you’ll see another post up here, but next time I am sure I will be sitting in some café somewhere in Europe. I cannot wait to share my adventures with. So here we go. To my friends I will miss you dearly and I can’t wait to hear about your lives over the coming months. To my family, I love you and start preparing to swap stories.

-a. marlo


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