The GoGlobal Blog

Climbing Hills

Climbing Hills

There are a lot of hills here in Italy.

Literally. I’m pretty convinced this entire country is just one big hill.

I learned this pretty quickly. Our campus is located on Monte Mario, the highest hill in Rome. (I had to double check this fact, so obviously I searched Wikipedia. JFRC even gets a shoutout, so that’s cool.) But I digress.

The reason I’m rambling on about this hill stuff is because it’s a pretty spot on description of my first 21 days in Rome.

So hills. It constantly feels like your walking up one here. The walk back to campus, whether it be from the bus stop, the supermarket, or gelato, is uphill. Every street seems to be at an incline. I also can’t remember the last time I walked up so many stairs. With sore legs and shortness of breath, sometimes you wonder if you will ever reach the top.

And I love it.

The thing about climbing a hill, physically or figuratively, is that it’s a lot more fun than staying on a flat surface. It’s challenging, but each step pushes you to your limit. It gives you new perspectives with every rise in altitude. The thought of climbing each hill freaks you out, yet there is no way to avoid it. You just start walking. And once you get to the top, the exhaustion, frustration, and struggle to get there don’t matter anymore.


Here are some of my favorite hills I’ve climbed so far:

Monte Uh, Scusi?

Trying to speak Italian is scary, but trying to understand Italian is scarier. A semester of Italian 101 plus my Google Translate app are enough to help me order food at a restaurant or ask where the bus stop is. But listening to someone speak Italian is like pausing mid-step and wondering if you’ll be ableto regain your balance or just fall flat on your face. Thankfully, I haven’t fallen too hard yet. I love picking up new vocabulary and feel super accomplished when I exchange words correctly. This hill, although challenging, has been one of my favorites to climb.

Monte Figuring It Out

When you stand at the base of a hill, you look up and try to prepare yourself for the journey ahead. But as you climb, roadblocks force you off the path you intended to take. I had some expectations coming to Rome. I thought I had a plan for, or at least an idea of, how the semester would play out. The reality is I don’t know the path I’m climbing or where it’s going. It’s difficult, and sometimes the only solution is to just sit down. Which is hard, because I don’t want to do that.

This hill has been the most frustrating, but it’s one of my favorites because I know the reward will be great. For now, I’ll just be taking one step at a time.

Monte Keep Climbing

When we climb, it’s easy to forget to appreciate the beauty of it. In Positano, Italy (pictured above), I learned that it’s not always about getting to the top. At the base of a small shopping square, there was a set of stairs rising along the edge of the buildings. So I went up, and up, and up. It became evident that the top was no where near, but I didn’t care. I just kept going. And it felt great. So great, I even took a selfie (pictured below). Man, I love climbing.

So these are my hills. They have been challenging, frustrating, tiring, exciting, rejuvenating, and fun. I know I have quite the journey ahead of me, but when I reach the peak in three months, I know it will all be worth it.

See you at the top. But I’ll probably just keep climbing.

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