Thursday, April 13, 2017
Tomorrow I embark on my final international adventure of my freshman year study abroad experience! I’ve been on countless trains, planes, and automobiles in the past eight months, each ride leading me to a different adventure. I remember my first weekend getaway to Rome in September to celebrate Sasha’s 19th birthday like it was yesterday. Navigating Firenze Santa Maria Novella and Roma Termini felt so intimidating then, and now it’s a piece of cake (jokes– I still get lost in Termini). Public transportation hubs now feel normal and comforting. I’ve never had as much exposure to them in my life as I have in Europe.
It’s bittersweet knowing this is my last pre-departure for a long time. I’m packing my zaino for the last time in Florence and making sure everything is in order before I leave for a few days (the trash is removed, my clothes are folded and put away, the floor isn’t dusty, etc…). In addition, I feel those common, pre-departure butterflies that scream “What if?” in my mind. What if we don’t make a train connection? What if I forget something I shouldn’t have? What if I sit next to someone famous on the train? What if I get hungry and have no resources for food?
I’m so blessed to have traveled to all the places I’ve had a chance to explore this year. From Italy to Ibiza to Kyiv to Copenhagen to cat cafés in Praha to Paris during spring and everything in between. Like Heidi said last week at dinner, traveling keeps you awake and aware of the world surrounding you; it keeps the fire burning. This may be the last trip for now, but there are many that lie ahead in the future. I might not be eighteen and free to roam in Europe as I please forever, but I’ll always have those cravings to see the world, become more cultured, and leap out of my comfort zone. The spark will never fail to ignite.
I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend. Surround yourself with good company and good food. Hide the eggs well for the kiddos. Don’t feel guilty about the consumption of Easter ham (but do balance it out with some asparagus). It’s a tradition in my family to have Easter dinner at my grandparents’ house. It’s a tradition I’m missing out on this year, but there’s always next year. To me, Easter symbolizes spring, and spring means new beginnings. Here’s to the beginning of a fabulous, final European adventure (for now) in France and the beginning to the end of my time in Firenze. Cin cin! xo ~ e.