Three months ago my biggest worry in the world was how I was ever going to pack 108 days’ worth of clothes into two pieces of luggage and a backpack. People warned me about the culture shock and the cobblestone while others voiced their envy about the adventure I was about to embark on. As my friends headed back for a junior year full of formals, tailgates, twenty-first birthdays, and more, I chose to follow my dream 4,202 miles away.
Thank you Florence. Thank you Mom. Thank you Dad. My parents may have taught me to follow my dreams, but Florence was the one who made those dreams a reality. Florence taught me that its completely okay to be lost because chances are you will find something better around the corner (like a gelato shop). Florence taught me that you have to rely on yourself because not even Google can solve everything. I would have never thought in my lifetime that I would love wild boar, but Florence taught me to try new things.
From roaming the hills of Tuscany to singing karaoke at Red Garter, it is no secret that Florence is unlike any other place in the world. It taught me to appreciate the things much larger than myself. The history, the art, and the beauty that Florence possess is indescribable. This experience also taught me that time really does fly by. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” These past three months have flashed before my eyes. What I would give now to have hiked up to Piazzale Michelangelo to watch the sunset more often or stayed out later to find more secret bakeries.
Above all Florence taught me that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. This experience has drained me- physically, mentally, and emotionally, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Florence has become my second home in three short months. The Duomo was my backyard, and the Ponte Vecchio was my favorite place to watch the sunset, and the city was mine. Florence graciously offered me countless museums, art galleries, landscapes, and all right at my feet. Tourists crowded the streets every day to take in the sights that I was fortunate to surround myself for 108 days. While I may not know the next time I will be back to Florence, I know that it will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you Florence for the countless lessons, memories, and for changing my life.
Ciao for now.