Last summer I spent eight weeks in Romania, teaching English and volunteering in a Hungarian orphanage. This summer I’ll be bouncing around Italy for a few weeks before spending about seventeen days in Paris. Next fall, I hope to be studying abroad in Edinburgh.

So why these particular places? I have a very specific sort of wanderlust, and most of the places I’m dying to visit are related to my favorite works of literature, favorite periods in history, or my own heritage.

I went to Romania partially because nobody thinks of doing volunteer work there because technically it’s a European country (ergo it MUST be wealthy; false), and partially because I’m obsessed with Vlad the Impaler. I’m going to Italy to explore the origins of Commedia dell’Arte, and because my family is Italian and I have always felt compelled to experience that country. Paris has a lot of draw for me, for a number of reasons. I find the various French revolutions fascinating, 50% of my favorite literature is French, and the Teatro Punto Commedia workshop takes place just outside the city. Edinburgh represents the other 50% of the literature I love, as well as the other half of my family heritage (my middle name is Ferguson. I used to hate it, but I’ve come to think it’s pretty awesome).

At any rate, I’m giddily excited to have the opportunity I have to travel this year.

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