Bittersweet Endings

In my first blog entry, I wrote that I was sitting in a caffè in my hometown, longing to be in Florence. As I sit in my living room back home in Winchester, Massachusetts, I certainly miss Italy, but feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

In our final days studying abroad, my friends in Florence were losing sleep over the thought of coming home. I only cried once, compared to my friends who wept numerous times, which sort of made me feel like something was wrong with me. I loved my time in Florence, so why didn’t I feel sad to leave?

I adore so much about Florence: the food, the culture, the architecture, and the overall beautiful aesthetic. My host mom was also someone who made the city such a special place to me. I kept reminding myself that I’d be leaving all of these things behind, hoping that it would make me more emotional.

Upon reflection, though, I’ve realized that just because I wasn’t devastated to leave doesn’t mean that I don’t love Florence. Rather, I think I felt it was an appropriate time to leave. 5 months is a LONG time. A long time without sleeping in my own comfy bed, eating meals that aren’t just pizza and pasta, and spending time with the people I love the most.

Being ready to leave doesn’t take away from the fact that I loved every second of my time abroad. I got to visit countries that I’d only ever dreamt of getting to see, made memories that will last me a lifetime, and get to tell people that I lived in Europe!

I almost didn’t apply to this program because of fear; taking classes in another language, living with a host family, and being away from home for 5 months are pretty intimidating factors. However, my love for Italian culture inspired me to take the risk, and I am so grateful that I did. It definitely wasn’t easy, but I’m so proud of myself for getting through the semester, and highly recommend others to sign up to study abroad, even if it’s outside of your comfort zone. I can promise that it will be one of the best experiences of your life 🙂