Before 2016, I’d never been on a flight, lived outside of Italy or even outside of my family home. The prospect of going someplace else by myself didn’t seem appealing and all I knew of other cultures came from books and the few foreigners I’d come across in my country, whom I didn’t understand that well because of my poor language skills. I had no idea what it meant to live and grow in a culture that was different from my own.

I thought it was about time all that should change.