Perspectives: Roaming the streets of Italy 5

The apartment flats in Florence, Italy on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017.

Two months ago, bags packed and camera batteries charged, I walked onto a plane in Baltimore and off of a plane in Florence, Italy. Since then, I have learned a lot about myself, a lot about photography and very little Italian.

Perspectives: Roaming the streets of Italy 2

A seagull perches outside the Colosseum in Rome, Italy on Friday, Fb. 17, 2017.

To be a photographer in a different country is both exhilarating and frustrating. To see a new world with golden light at all hours of the day, brightly colored doors and buildings and fashion that would shock Bill Cunningham himself, is a dream come true for anyone with a camera and a good eye.

Perspectives: Roaming the streets of Italy

A resident of one of the apartments towering over Piazza Santo Spirito in Florence, Italy, glances out her window on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017.

A journalist, on the other hand, is first and foremost a communicator. We observe, listen and ask questions. We want to learn all we can about the people we meet and the places we go.

In Venice, Italy, I learned the beauty of balancing history and modernity. In Brussels, Belgium, I learned the importance of supporting public and accessible art. In London, I learned how to laugh again. In Prato, Italy, I learned how to celebrate life and honor death.

Perspectives: Roaming the streets of Italy 3

A couple speeds down the narrow roads of Florence, Italy, with two chairs on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. Because it is easier to travel the busy streets of Florence by foot, bike or motorcycle, locals often get creative with the way they transport furniture from one end of the city to the other.

The most valuable skill I’ve acquired as a journalist in another country is communication is universal. Though it’s been difficult, I have learned not to let language barriers keep me from telling stories.

Regardless of the borders that divide us, we are all humans. I have crossed paths with people from all countries who speak all languages — even some people who can’t speak at all — and I have been fortunate enough to listen to their stories.

Perspectives: Roaming the streets of Italy 4

A couple enjoys a kiss and the view of the Duomo in Rome on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017.

I am proud of the photographs I have taken throughout my semester here, but I am even prouder of the stories that I will be able to share.

It is a beautiful thing to be a photographer in Italy, but it is even more beautiful to be a journalist.

Carrie George is a photojournalism major in Kent State's Florence Study Abroad program this spring semester. 

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