From the moment I stepped out onto the balcony, I found a home in Rome. The air was warm and the wind was soft and slow. I can still feel how gentle it was on my skin as if it were yesterday.

The city silenced my own white noise. The constant chatter in my brain was quieted. It’s rare to find a place that stills my to-do’s and “what’s next” mentality.

The smell of fresh bread from the corner cafe and the sounds of the Campo Di Fiori coming to life lingered up to my window. All of my senses were heightened to the experience of a culture I had never known before.

The strange part was I didn’t feel homesick. It was the first time I’d felt more at home in a place I’d just laid eyes on than the place I had spent the past 21 years of my life. Instead, I felt alive. I felt like I could finally breathe.

I never thought I would want to literally breathe in a city of all places but there I was on a balcony in Rome, breathing deeper than ever before.

I feel as though Rome shared herself with me in those moments. Roma gave me a taste of vibrant yet quiet life; bustling but still.

I was romanced.

Over the course of two weeks, I grew. My seeds needed the Italian sun, nightly cioccolato fondente, too much pasta, kind friends and a beautiful culture to celebrate, to learn more about the deep roots within myself and who I wanted to become.

I never knew traveling could draw things out of me that had been tucked away ever so neatly into the crevices of my heart. Traveling can do that to a person.

Italia laid the foundation of my love and longing for travel. It’s not something I do for show or because “everyone else is doing it” but because I no longer feel like I can be stagnant in the same place that I’ve always been.

I want to be play a lead role in my own story.

I want to walk streets that are 1,000 years old, see places that time has not touched and meet people who culturally are nothing like me.

From a quaint balcony at the Albergo Sole al Biscione, I began an unfamiliar adventure all because of an orange city full of warm people, quiet mornings and the sweetest of smells.

Rome had me in her grasp.


Published by Sydney Williams