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Annalyse, a college student from Los Angeles is studying abroad in Florence, Italy. She shares tips, trips and tales from Europe:

Although I do not want to have a bulging, heavy carry on bag, I can hear my father’s word seared into my memory, “Be sure to have a change of clothing, underwear and all of your essential medications with you at all times in case the airlines lose your luggage!” Unfortunately, dad is right this time. When packing my carry on bags, I will be adding in a few days outfits just in case the airlines lose my luggage.

I had a fun excursion to Office Depot today to find a cute, stylish & reasonably-priced traveler diary. Although I usually journal on my computer here in the States, I know how much I will appreciate a physical journal to look back at in the future. I can include ticket stubs, pictures and souvenirs from my travels in a physical journal, which I cannot include in an electronic journal.

While in class today, I wrote a note to myself to remember to pack an extra duffle bag! Although I am not a huge shopper, I want to have an extra bag with me just in case I find some fun items for my family (haha-or myself) while abroad. Italy is known for its leather! I should also throw in a package of duct tape, for you can never go wrong with too much duct tape! If a bag rips, or a backpacking strap falls off, my fathers words come running back into my memory, “duct tape solves all problems!”

I had an exciting field trip to the library today to pick up Italian history books! I also picked up Tea with Mussolini to watch before I depart, so I can be somewhat knowledgeable on the history of the country I am going to.  I also picked up the New York Times, to be up to date on the current Italian situation, for it is a not a dull country at the moment!

I was playing around with my old Casio camera today, when I began to compare the pictures my camera took, with the pictures my mom’s camera takes. My pictures are grainy, unfocused and darker than the pictures my mom’s camera took. This made me envious of my mom’s Lica lens camera, since I will be traveling around Europe for the next six months! I convinced myself that I need a good camera, to document all of my soon-to-be travels! I began searching the internet to try and find a cheaper version of my moms Lica lens camera, but no such luck! Maybe Santa will bless my stocking with a beautiful (or Mom’s old) camera!