Well, this is it, my final blog post. I woke up this morning on my last day in Rome with an overwhelming feeling. I’m not sure what it was though, but it caused me to lie still in bed for a long time and listen to my thoughts. At first there was a wave of melancholy because times flies so quickly. It’s terrifying really. But then a warm memory of home followed, I’m within reach of returning to the center of my universe again. It’s comforting to know that no matter where I roam, I know I have deeply sewn roots who will always remind me of who I am. I didn’t want to bombard you with sappiness so I decided to say farewell with some lists. First I want to mention the 10 things I am going to miss this most about living in Rome:
1. THE FOOD
What chu eatin?
I’ve had a lovely 3 1/2 months of an excuse to eat anything under the Tuscan sun. I counted no calories, skipped no snacks, turned down no wine (although sometimes I should have). Subsequently, I’m not positive whether I porked up or lost weight from all of the wandering. But I’m sure my sisters will deliver the verdict as soon as I get home.
2. My Studio
I was so incredibly spoiled to have my own space to create, collaborate, and occasionally take emergency naps all semester. I will always be thankful for my first studio!
3. Accessible Travel
France (My favorite)
It is amazing how easy it is to travel within Europe! I especially loved seeing the different regions of Italy! I still have a few more to see though!
4. The beaches
…Sorry Ocean City. You lose.
5. The Scenery
Nothing compares to the feeling of walking through Italy and realizing the pictures on post cards really aren’t photoshopped. They’re just waiting to be found.
7. The Culture
I realize I’m not Italian, but I love the Cafe Culture!
Italians always remember to be present. They’re culture revolves around food and family and enjoying life as it comes. Rather than Americans (including myself) constantly worrying about the bigger plan. There’s a joke here about how when in Rome you run on “Italian time” which means there is no concept of time. You will get there when you get there. So if you don’t feel like getting there yet, stop and get a cappucino!
8. My Newfound Sense of Adventure
When you don’t speak the language, you kindof learn to just go with it! In Rome, I feel spontaneous. Which no one would have ever called me before. Watch out USA! I’m coming for you next!
9. Summer Lasts until Halloween
This was Fall break. WHAT.
10. My Bright and Shiny New Friends
I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with all of you on this trip. Everyone I met was beautiful.
NOW, I’d like to point out the things I’m going to be happiest to see when I get home!
1. My family, friends, and boyfriend
I have some good lookin’ people to see! (Notice I’m the oldest AND shortest? I have heels on.)
The sign says “Welcome Home Jen!”
2. My Car! And Parking Lots.
No one understands the convenience of a parking lot until you live in a land where they don’t exist and walking is life.
3. My Job!
I totally love working 🙂 and having an income rather than being the virtual Trevi Fountain of money of the last few months.
As much as I loved learning Italian, and I think the language is beautiful, there is just no way of describing the dumbfounding feeling of looking directly at someone else, who is also perfectly capable of communicating and with whom you need to converse…. and yet you just can’t. So you just stare at each other for a while and hope they absorb what you’re thinking.
5. My Bright and Shiny New Friends! (AGAIN)
Although not everyone goes to Temple, the majority of us do! And most of those who do not, go to school close by! With the exception of a couple girls in Washington State, some people from Duke, and a few other far away places. I’m very thankful to be able to continue my friendships in the States!
I’d like to leave you with one sappy statement. Studying abroad was the single most rewarding thing I have ever done. I would tell ANYONE to do it no matter if they are scared, broke, or busy. It is worth all of the effort! One of the main changes I noticed within myself is my new-found understanding of my concept of “home”. Before I left the States, home for me was my parents house. But by being removed completely from this place, and thrown into a strange environment, I learned who, what, and where is important in my life. And that home is not a place, but a feeling of belonging. In my travels I’ve seen that there are BILLIONS of places in the world. I don’t mean geographic points, I mean that everyone runs their own universe, and every universe must have a center. And no matter what you think of anywhere else in the world, you are always aware of your true center. There might not be one place you call home, but there is one true feeling. And it takes leaving that place to see it… Can you tell I do yoga? 🙂
Finally, I would like to say a HUGE thank you to my parents. Without you I would have NEVER gotten to where I am. I’d like to thank my sisters, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, and cousins for all of your support. I’d like to thank my boyfriend for standing by me through all of my new experiences. I’d like to thank my best friends for keeping me grounded in my true home. And I’d like to thank Temple University Study Abroad Office for giving me the opportunity to write this blog!
P.S- Because of the positive experience I’ve had blogging, I will be starting my own blog in January! Hopefully it will be as interesting as this one has been!