I’ll (not) Be Home for Christmas

Posted By: DanaDiRenzo
Posted On: December 7th, 2019
Attending: Letterkenny Institute of Technology

Well this is my last week of school and I am so ready for Christmas break!! Unfortunately, LYIT has exam week after Christmas in January, so I’ll have to try and study a bit for my two exams…but other than that I am almost HOME FREE!

Except…I’m not going home for Christmas. This will be the first year EVER that I will not be at our annual Christmas Eve party, I won’t be able to eat the amazing food that we have, I won’t see my family in person, and I won’t open presents on Christmas morning with my parents, Mommom, JD and Leah. I also won’t be able to see our HUGE Christmas tree that my dad finds every year (much to the dismay of my Mom, but hey – it’s our signature!) I know, I know, this all sounds very sad and depressing and I will definitely feel a little homesick. HOWEVER, I will Facetime everyone on Christmas Eve/Day and I will definitely be making up for it with my exciting Christmas travel plans!

DiRenzo Christmas Tree 2018

JD & Leah on Christmas Eve 2018

Living in Ireland as a Sport Changes Life Victory Scholar has given me great opportunities to travel as we are right on the doorstep to mainland Europe. Flights are cheap and – lucky for me – I have tons of international friends that I met at St. Francis College! Without further ado, here are my Christmas 2019 travel plans:


December 17th-20th: We will be in Denmark hosted by my great Danish friend, Etta Andersen!! And I KNOW that Etta will show us a good time..she is really great craic! So fellow scholar, Carson Long, and I will be travelling together to Denmark on the 17th to meet up with Etta after she finishes her exam. And then my other fellow scholar/SFC roommate/BESTIE, Maria Palarino, will be meeting us here the next day and will continue on with us for the next adventures!



December 20th-23rd: I will be celebrating my 23rd birthday (on Dec. 21st) in the beautiful Prague! The Christmas markets there look amazing and I also heard the pints might be pretty cheap 😉 I’d say that sounds like a pretty cool way to celebrate my “Jordan” year!


December 23rd-26th: So, I thought since I won’t be home with my family in America on Christmas, it would be cool to trace back to my family roots and celebrate in Rome, where my ancestors are from. Hopefully, I can connect with my family members still living there and get to meet them in person! Either way, if we can’t be home for Christmas, I’d say Rome is a pretty good alternative! Another fellow scholar, Lexi Posset, will be joining Carson, Maria and I at this part of the trip. Sadly, we’ll lose Carson on the 26th, but we’ll have enough fun to last him through the New Year!


December 26th-29th: As I said before, I’m very lucky to have met some amazing friends at SFC that just so happen to live in other countries! I am SO excited that our Italian soccer buddies are going to be home over Christmas so we can all reunite and see their hometowns!! After Rome, we’ll meet up with our personal tour guides: Matteo Caribotti, Marco Torriani, Andrea Lubbia, and Edo Belfanti. Maria and I are SO excited to see our Italian besties and have some real parmesan cheese! 😬

L to R: Edo, Me, Matteo, Maria, Marco at SFC Athletic Banquet 2019

L to R: Edo, Andrea, Maria, Me, Matteo, Marco at some club


December 29th-January 1st: We will finish our Italian tour in Verona where Edo lives, then Matteo, Marco, Maria, Lexi and I will make our way to Budapest to celebrate the New Year! MORE fellow scholars, Kollyns Scarbrough and Kyle Dixon will also be joining us here, so we’ll have a nice group together and have a ton of fun!

I’d say this plan will set the stage for a pretty unforgettable Christmas experience! I am counting down the days until I can see all of my great friends from SFC and spend time with my new ones from SCL! Any travel tips/suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated by the way!!

Traveler Tip #18:

Ryanair is an awesome airline to use for travelling around Europe – cheap, easy, and has great deals!

To be continued…

-Dana D.

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