Making New Friends in Florence

Monday, October 3, 2016

Today is famous, for it’s the date Cady Heron informs Aaron Samuels in the classic high school movie hit Mean Girls. Makes me smile every year.

One of the best parts about traveling is meeting people. People who come from far and near. People who are so different from you yet so alike. Different backgrounds, same interests. Different interests, same backgrounds. Although I thoroughly enjoy my alone time, I consider myself a people person. People are fascinating, and I’m curious about people and how we interact as a human species. Makes sense because I’m majoring in communication!

Last week Sasha’s friend, Michael, came to visit. She had class when his train got in, so Jill, Olivia, and I picked him up at the train station. We knew exactly who he was because Sash told him to meet us at Victoria’s Secret, and we met via FaceTime. He immediately wanted to get to know us and was very excited and grateful for his several days in Firenze. Michael came with us to Cinque Terre and blended right in. The two of us just got back from a walk to the Duomo to people watch and chat. In addition, we stopped at My Sugar because we never say ‘no’ to gelato.

He reminded me that life’s too short to not take chances and get to know people. Sure they may not be in your life forever, but most of the time, you learn something from every person you interact with. It was a refreshing reminder and one very relevant to me during my year in Italy. Here I have talked to and made friends with people I never would have if I didn’t say ‘yes’ to Marist and the FFE Program. I wouldn’t have become friends with the guy who owns a convenience store two doors down from us. We always smile at each other and ask how we are doing when I pass him several times a day, and he gives me a discount in the store. I wouldn’t say ‘Ciao’ or ‘Buonasera’ to the three employees at My Sugar whenever I pass. I wouldn’t make new friends from other schools if I didn’t join the soccer club.

This blog post is a reminder that making friends should be a priority no matter where you are. Friends are the people who you can enjoy life with and the people who will be there when you need a good laugh or a shoulder to cry on. Strangers can be friends, and your best friends in life were once strangers. I can’t wait to meet more strangers and more friends in Florence. I hope you do the same wherever you find yourself. xo ~e.

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