I couldn't be more torn right now. Last week I was a sob fest because the thought of leaving this place was killing me. This week I am more excited than ever to come back to my small town world and family and friends. I am right in the middle of the gauge.. flip a coin for me?
It feels like these past weeks have just flown so fast. The only way I can grasp the true length is to read my journal from the first several days and then I realize, "Wow, I have been here a while." I have made some amazing friends that I hope to stay in touch with back at A&M. Its hard because we've lived in this environment where we are all each other has. When we go back it is back to the same ole groups and organizations and distractions, and As much as we want to keep in touch its going to be difficult. I guess thats the tough part for me.. well that and leaving my home of Castiglion Fiorentino.
I have gotten attached to this little town and finally know it like the back of my hand. Some of the locals are even starting to look familiar. I have the stores' siesta times down and we know exactly which day the Coco Palm (gelateria) and Pirate Bar (pizza) are closed. We know the exact amount of time it takes to walk to the train station from the center and how much time can be allotted to make it to anywhere else on time. The food. oh the lunches and dinners.. I dont know how I am going to overcome the distance of that. I will forever CRAVE Santa Chiara caprese, lentil stew, salmon, potatoes, and chocolate salami. Its going to be hard eating/cooking Italian when I get back due to the highest standards ever that have been created while here.
Ah, now all this talk of my home here is making me miss it already. Fail... but on the optimistic point of view, I dont think this is my last trip to Italy ever. I've tied to many roots here to never visit again (besides I threw the coins in the Trevi Fountain in Rome and rubbed the pigs nose in the Florence market... I'm golden.) Also I want to keep up with the lingo- the language. I think its awesome to know another language and I feel like I have about a half semester of knowledge just from being submersed in the culture. And as much as I want to broaden my horizons and travel to other countries, I have become SO familiar with Castiglion Fiorentino, Florence, and Rome that I want to come back and walk the familiar streets again.
All this makes me wish I could have studied after the trip. I know that before I left America, traveling by myself was a huge no-go and even I wouldnt have trusted myself with a week by myself in a foreign country. But now I am SO confident in how to get around this country and wise of my belongings and myself that I think that traveling by myself after this trip would have been the best part of it all. If you know me then you know I am independent and like to do things for myself (if you didnt know that well now you do..) and I feel the most liberated when I accomplish something bigger than myself. In our huge group, I have so much fun and good conversations, but by myself I think I can actually take in everything better. There is always a rush with a group and I feel like I dont see the sights to their full capacity. Anyway.. thats just a little tangent.
All in all, this trip has been the most amazing thing I've done my entire life. Hands down. Its been a dream of mine and I know looking back it will all seem like a fairy tale that I made up. I cant express how grateful I am to have made it this far - my parents and myself will surely be in debt for some time to come... Oh well.. I wouldnt have missed this experience for anything in the world. I have learned so much and have changed A LOT. I cant wait to share the million more stories I have when I get back and share the thousands of pictures I have taken. Have a wonderful day!
Monday, June 29, 2009
Posted by Nina at 7:40 AM