A snippet of my life abroad

Here is a little something I wrote about my days and minutes in Florence:

SO I have successfully navigated an Italian supermarket, with the word “scusi” (excuse me) under my breath the entire time, had gelato twice a day, multiple days in row while justifying it with the fact that I walk 3 miles to school and back, plus walking for food and getting lost, averaging about 12 miles a day. I have washed some clothes and hung them on the towel warmer to dry. Attended and loved class, my Italian professor is fantastic. Paired paprika Pringles with a 4-euro pinot noir (they go wonderfully together p.s.). Indulged in real pizza, fresh pasta, and warm Panini (panino is singular and the plural form is Panini, sorry America we are saying it wrong). Let me tell you, I am being spoiled for the rest of my life.  The cappuccinos are 1.5 euro and they are incredible and beautiful and it will be a battle with Caribou to hand over $5 for my decent at best coffee when I am home.

If you are curious about some of the history and other foods Florence prides itself upon, check this article out!

It was not so long ago I stepped foot in Florence (Firenze in Italian, here is a map if you want to look at the location). I have crossed many bridges. Literally. The river Arno runs through Florence and to get to school I have to walk down my street and then past two bridges until I reach the third bridge, the one I cross over, as it is the most direct route to school. My school is in a palace. No joke. However, it is not quite like the one you have drawn up in your head. It’s a palace by historical standard, not based upon how many princesses have lived there. The classrooms are huge and slightly dusty, but the material I am learning is wonderful.

 

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My days are rich and filled with delicious food, long walks, laughs with friends, beautiful sights and a cozy apartment to come home to at night. The apartment is not very big, but I think it is perfect. After climbing 8 flights of stairs, I open the door to a sweet kitchen with a couch (my living and dining room). The ceilings are so cool! They are made of exposed wood and make me feel as though I am living in an Italian cottage. The light fixtures are pretty neat too. My kitchen has a chandelier and my bedroom has lights with red shades, giving my room a pinky glow. My apartment has 2 bathrooms and 2 showers! Yay! Everything is new and works wonderfully. Also in my room I have a window into the staircase of my building. I have exchanged several glances and prolonged eye contact with the lawyer who lives across from me. Note: he always wears sunglasses…the anonymity is somewhat intriguing.

 

The 25 minute walk to school is pretty tolerable when I’m surrounded by a culture of absolute charisma, such as Santa Croce, a basilica I walk past everyday.

 

May I never keep my eyes down and become too familiar with the awe that encircles me.

 

I will update weekly now. With stories and adventures and pictures. Until then, know that I am doing well. That I am happy and that I am always hungry, for pasta, gelato, new ventures, a different vantage point, feelings of warmth, home and the desire to carve my own path.

 

May my appetite never be satisfied.

 

Thoughts on change in a foreign country

Italia dreams

When I was abroad in Italy I had many moments of joy and experiences that taught me more than my textbooks have in some instances. Here are some thoughts that are a little unprecedented that I wrote about my time abroad while sitting in my tiny kitchen facing the open window where my clothes were line drying and the laughter of Italian families echoed below me:

CanalinveniceI guess I began this journey knowing I would change. Accepting the fact that I would be different. Where I went wrong was thinking I knew how I would change. I thought “Oh ill become more introspective and independent. Ill be worldly and see things from new perspectives.” While that is not completely wrong, it isn’t the whole picture. One month has gone by since I moved to Florence and the way I am changing is unprecedented. Sitting alone in my room, slightly terrified to leave, twiddling my thumbs because I’m not sure what to do is not how I pictured my time in Italy. But I think this feeling and actions are more than depressing. I think I have unlocked another layer of myself. A vulnerable layer that I haven’t wanted to expose before. And now this layer is all that I am, I cant put it away or hide it. I am vulnerable and scared to enter the Italian sun and have it burn through me and hit my core because change is scary. It is weird and uncomfortable, a feeling I haven’t experienced since puberty really and even then it wasn’t in this way. While I haven’t changed too much yet besides gaining weight and having longer hair, my soul is ready. I am vulnerable and I need to move my legs and let my heart beat faster and my hands touch that which I have been anxious to do. I need to be free and this desire is now closer than ever. I feel free, unstoppable and that is petrifying, but I need to accept it. I am so close; just keep pushing into the form that I want to take on.

Here is a song that I listened to a lot while abroad, not sure why it gave me so much comfort and joy, but here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABYnqp-bxvg