When I got to Rome, I was a bit apprehensive about venturing out into the city. So much so, it took me full 3 hours to leave the airport. It was my first time stepping into Europe alone and I'd heard that Rome was overwhelming. As long as I was in the airport, I was assured someone spoke English and I was only a gate away from going home without a hassle and help was immediate. Once I stepped outside of the sanctuary of the airport, I would be all alone amongst 1 million Romans and its many tourists. No one knew my name or cared and I couldn't simply call someone to come & get me. It was a big, unknown world out there.
Initially, I wasn't aware of my feelings until I realized how much time had passed. I'd spent the time trying to get money from the ATM, exchanging money, looking for a calling card, finding the restroom, discreetly tucking money into my moneybelt, etc. After I'd run out of things to check or do, there was nothing to do but leave. Leave. Go outside. I'd wanted this for much of my life and here I was. Now I knew how agoraphobics felt; afraid of the unknown outside world. I took a deep breath & stepped into the pulsating, moving, panoramic, 3-D picture of Rome.
I have since found my bearings and stepped bravely into traffic, belted hardy Buon Giornos, and moved about the beautiful country of Italy as I was born to do.