How did four months go by so fast? It seems like just yesterday I hopped off that plane into the 100+ degree Italian heat, and had no idea where I was, or what I was doing! But I'm currently a thousand feet high in the air flying back to the US, and let me tell you, it's the ultimate bittersweet. Leaving for Italy was hard, but leaving Italy is twice as hard.
In the last four months, I've visited 14 cities in 6 different countries, made some lifetime friends, and discovered a lot about myself in the process. When people say studying abroad changes you, they're absolutly right. There's something about throwing yourself outside your comfort-zone, and into an entirely new environment that makes you react and analyze things in a completely new way.
One part people may not undertsand is that study abroad isn't "vacation abroad" where you never fully settle in and find a routine. It's actually living in another country where you find your favorite coffee shop, pull all-nighters writing papers, study, make new friends, and make a life. I had a pretty easy time adjusting, since I've technically already done this once, with moving to New York, but even though I'm excited to go back to my New York life, it's heartbreaking to leave my Italian one. (and to leave 3 euro bottles of GOOD chianti)
I will forever be thankful for the time that I got to spend here, and the opportunity to see so many amazing countries and cities that I'm already dying to return to! I will forever miss italian wine, mushroom risotto, and walking to class along the Arno, but I know I'm going to burst into tears in a few hours when I land in Houston and see my family.
Ciao for now,