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Saying Goodbye to Florence – “A Presto, Firenze”

January 17, 2014
by CEA MOJO
I truly can’t believe it. My time in Florence is coming to an end. Just as much as I can’t believe it’s ending, I can’t believe it’s happened at all. I feel like I’ve been living in a dream. Even when I look at photos from my trips a few weeks ago, I feel like it’s someone else’s life.
 
 
I keep going back and forth between being excited to go home and see my family, friends, and boyfriend again, and being sad about leaving. I keep saying I’m so ready to go home, which is true. But I’m not ready for this to never happen again. If anything, this semester has sparked a love for travel that I never had before. I need to revisit every city I’ve been this semester, and even more places I haven’t been yet.
 
What have I gotten out of this semester? More than I ever thought possible. Some I wanted, and some I didn’t.
  1. If I thought I was independent at college at home, this is a whole new kind of independent. I could make travel plans and get on a plane without even telling my parents (but of course I did). It’s a taste of the future, but I never want to live this far away from my family. 
  2. The impossible is possible. I’m tired of Italian food. Not that I don’t like it. I still think it’s the best type of food in the world. But I need some variety! I’m dying to go home and have Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, American, and other food – especially my mom’s cooking! Then I’ll go back to pizza and pasta mixed in with other types of food. 
  3. I also learned about the not-so-sunny-side of living in Italy. I still stand by the fact that if I really lived here, I’d have a better life than I do now. I’d have reliable WiFi, a bike so I don’t have to carry my groceries a mile and a half, maybe a car so I could escape to the countryside whenever I want to, constant hot water in my shower, and a dryer! So along with living in a foreign country, it also has to do with the struggles of living as a student in a foreign country. But I needed to learn these things. One of my biggest goals in studying abroad in Florence was learning what it’s like to be a local rather than a tourist. 
  4. You have to live life with a sense of humor. One of my mottos in these last weeks of living here has been “Nothing surprises me anymore.” This city has thrown a new curve ball every single day. There have been protests on my street keeping me from getting to my apartment. A marathon running through the city. A bike race blocking my way to school. A petting zoo in Piazza del Duomo. A marching band (I think) with no instruments walking down the street… to name a few. And I just laugh and take it in stride. This city never stopped being entertaining.
 
Life isn’t supposed to be taken seriously. Remember that.
 
I want to thank everyone who has supported me on this journey. I couldn’t have done it without the support (and the kick in the butt) from my loved ones to take this leap of faith. And it was so worth. I can’t emphasize that enough. If there’s one thing I can say to anyone considering studying abroad … DO IT. You will never regret the time you had here, no matter what it costs.
 
I’ve had the time of my life. But it’s not going to go downhill from here. I’m determined about that. This is going to be a great memory and story to tell for the rest of my life, but I will have so many more.
 
This isn’t goodbye, Florence. It’s see you soon.
 
 

 

Here are just a few of my highlights from these amazing 110 days.

Castello di Verrazzano with Gabby

Castello di Verrazzano

Ponte Vecchio

Gusta Pizza with Gabby

My Firenze

Capri with Gabby

Capri

Cinque Terre

Siena

Pisa

Rome

Prague

Amsterdam

Paris

With my parents in Florence

With my boyfriend, Andy, in Florence

With Andy in Venice!

Samantha Wood is the Fall 2013 CEA MOJO in Florence, Italy. She is currently a junior at Salve Regina University.

Read more about our CEA MOJO Bloggers & Photographers.
 
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