Monday, September 26, 2016
Well, here I am. One month ago I arrived in Italia, and here I am one month later.
This month has been absolutely life changing. I hopped off a plane in Rome a month ago and went to orientation in Tarquinia for a few days before arriving in Florence and moving into our apartments. I’ve survived three full weeks of college classes and have already created friendships that will last for the next four years and beyond. I also embarked on a weekend getaway to Rome.
During this month, I have eaten a lot of pasta, gelato, and sipped on too many cappuccinos. Luckily, I know how to order all three in Italian. I’ve also completed many adult tasks like weekly grocery shopping, laundry washing, cleaning, and balance of work and play. Although I did most of these at boarding school, doing them in another country ups the ante quite a bit.
It’s hard to believe that one month ago I had nine months in Italy. Now I have eight. Every day when I pass the Duomo or walk across the Ponte Vecchio, I’m reminded how lucky I am to be experiencing this global adventure. I’ve managed to make this city and the people I’m surrounded by feel like home. It’s important to remember that this is a temporary home. I’m not a born and bred Florentine, and I’ll only have the experience of living here as a student, but I’m very proud and humble to be able to call this place home for nine months. It’s not something everyone will be able to say.
While thinking about the word ‘home’, I’ve found myself missing several components to home but not my physical house. I miss my parents, my dog, my friends, driving in the Green Mountains during the fall, and Spiral Press. However, I haven’t really missed my house or Vermont. I’m sure I do to some extent, maybe in my subconscious, but I’m in such a unique place of the world that I won’t be in forever. Therefore, I’ve immersed myself into the belief that this is my temporary home, and I need to make the most out of it. Sure, there will be days when I don’t want to be here, but that’s anywhere. It’s mysterious, confusing, and invigorating simultaneously.
My favorite part about living in Florence thus far is living in a city. I’ve always wanted to live in a city, and it’s so incredible living in a European one so young. I walk everywhere, people watch constantly, hang out at cafés, and take advantage of what the city has to offer. This city has so much artwork and historic sites it’s unbelievable. Being in the presence of them every day is enlightening. I especially love listening to life music at night in the piazzas and seeing the Duomo at night while licking gelato. The best part is that it’s only a 10 minute walk away.
The hardest part of living in Florence so far is budgeting. I’m not used to having to buy my own groceries and using my money, but it’s something I’m getting the hang of. I haven’t been shopping for too much extra, and it’s nice that school expenses are out of the way for now. I will have to take a closer look for the rest of the year since I do hope to get more traveling in.
So one month down in Florence. I haven’t run away yet, and I don’t intend to. Feeling brave and blessed. xo ~e.