When you spend four months constructing a new life in a new place, when you finally get in the groove of things, when you finally feel at home, it’s strange to think it’s all temporary. It’s almost heartbreaking to think that this will soon come to an end. We’ll pack our things alongside our memories and cherish them in hopes of returning to this magical city some day – but we know it will never be the same. We’ll never feel quite as home here as we do now.
With only a couple weeks left here in Italy, I’m find myself thinking a lot about Venice. I find myself stopping to appreciate the little things. I find myself recognizing all that I’ve learned: about myself, my work and of this place I’ve come to inhabit.
April – my last full month in Italy – has been a whirlwind to say the least. My weekends have taken me to three different countries and given me unbelievable new experiences. I’ve seen the immaculately-preserved architecture of Prague, experienced the legendary nightlife of Barcelona and explored the mountains, lakes and towns of Italy even further. As the pictures throughout this post show, it’s been nothing short of beautiful.
As crazy as it’s been, April has given me some of my most memorable experiences from my time abroad. It’s in April that I broke outside my comfort zone and interviewed Venetians in Italian for my final project. It’s in April that I reunited with three college friends from across Europe (on various study abroad programs) to have an incredible weekend exploring the city of Barcelona. It’s in April that I hiked a mountain in Cinque Terre in the pouring rain, got covered in mud and had the best time doing it.
I’ll spare most of the sappy stuff for my last post from Venice in a couple of weeks, but I can’t avoid it completely. Being here – and in some incredible cities across Europe – feels more unreal as the days go by. I’m so comfortable in this place that I forget how coveted it is by the rest of the world. Most people only pass through Venice for a couple of days. Most people only study the artwork from a textbook. But I have the immense privilege of living here, of being able to stop by and see my friends Tintoretto and Bellini whenever I want. Not to mention, being able to visit any number of equally inspiring cities on a short plane or train ride. As you can imagine, my gratitude for these privileges is overwhelming.
So in the short time that remains, I’m committed to making the most of it. To soaking in as much of Italy as I can (no more international trips planned for me!) To seeing as much of this city as I can. To stocking up on as many Italian books as I can (gotta keep my Italian skills sharp!) To cherishing the friends I have here. To realizing that although this journey may soon be over, there’s certainly much more exploration and learning that lies ahead.