For most of my life, traveling alone seemed lonely, filled with unseen dangers and unpredictable outcomes. It also would have been stressful for my family, who is prone to excessive worry and quick to share fear-filled rhetoric - just like many old-fashioned Italian parents typically are. Growing up, it just seemed safer all around - for all of our sanity - to wait until marriage to travel anywhere. Anytime I’d dream of taking road trips or going on month-long backpacking trips, or even think about doing a semester abroad, I’d be overcome by fear. It became much more comfortable to stay where I was.