Here I am in San Francisco at 8:00 am on my couch with a cup of tea, staring into the city from my window while the birds chirp outside. This is my favorite time of day. I guess you could say I’m a morning person. Whether it’s waking up at 6:00 am for a run or at 8:00 to read a book, this time of day is quiet and it’s the one time the city seems to sleep. Today, I woke up thinking it was about time I reflect on my experience abroad, but here I am, still at a loss for words about the amazing two and a half months that just flew past me. My mind is anything but quiet.
“Travel. It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
Being able to finish my time at the University of Washington in Rome was unbelievable. I definitely ended with a bang! I’m not sure how to describe how this experience changed me, but something just feels different. Maybe it’s my new found appreciation for maple syrup and hot showers. Maybe it’s learning that Y.O.L.O. is so real. Maybe it’s being thrown into a country with 21 strangers and leaving with another family. Maybe it’s realizing that going broke is so worth it for these experiences and that your savings account can live without that extra zero for now. Maybe it’s understanding that life is all about happiness and you just gotta do that thing you’ve always dreamed of doing. Your mind doesn’t have to take the front seat all the time. You don’t always have to be responsible. And you can relax and do “nothing” sometimes.
More than anything, I’ve learned that I am blessed. I will be forever grateful to my parents who have never seen Italy but have always wanted to. I guess being a parent means sometimes you gotta just live through your children. So, I hope I had a good enough time for all of us.
This is only the beginning. This adventure has only made me hungry for more. Ciao Roma, thank you for the good times.
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”