30 Thoughts [After a Semester Abroad]

The looming nostalgia is suddenly amplified; everyday, I am reminded of what I was doing this time last year when I literally lived two blocks from the Duomo. Last week I was kindly reminded by Facebook and Google Photos that it was the year year anniversary of my departure from JFK and my arrival in Florence.

I thought my open letter to the person about to study abroad would be enough to manage the nostalgia…but I was wrong. Alas, here are thirty thoughts I’ve had since coming home from a semester abroad:

  1. I told myself that I wasn’t going to be this way. I am.
  2. Okay, I’m not THAT bad. I did have meaningful experiences and I just want to tell people about them. I’m not that bad.
  3. 32 more days until Ireland. 32 more days until Ireland. 32 more days until Ireland.
Sauro and Veronica, my “parents” while I was in Florence. I lived in an apartment in the city, but spent time with them to learn more about local culture and family life!

4. I miss my Italian family.

5. I REALLY miss my Italian family

6. I packed for four months in a suitcase and a travel backpack, how could I fill almost my entire car just to go to school for a semester? I live two hours from here. It’s okay if I forget something.

7. I need to clean out my room. I lived for four months without needing any of this.

8. Maybe I’ll go to grad school in Europe.

During my post-semester trip, I typically only stayed in a city for one day or one night…which meant that I ended up doing most of my touring with my backpack.

9. Maybe I’ll be a nomadic minimalist and live out of a backpack.

10. That trip to Ireland should be a trip back to Florence.

11. Maybe I should go to Ireland and Florence.

SanwiChic is conveniently located near two of the FUA buildings (and the Academia), they have student specials, and (in my option) have the best panini in the city.

12. Creamy pecorino, melted and spread onto a piece of fresh focaccia. Tomato. Lettuce. Red pepper jam. Fresh olive oil.

13. I need a panino from SandwiChic and I need it now.

14. I miss going to the grocery store?

15. Oh my gosh….I can’t remember the Conad jingle.

16. The internet truly does have everything.

17. I don’t have any plans this weekend, I should go somewhere. Oh wait, a one-way train to New York is double what I paid for a round-trip flight fly from Florence to London.

Looking out towards what should have been one of San Marino’s famous views.

18. It’s cold here. How did I forget what winter feels like? I experienced snow in San Marino?

Me, Olivia (our amazing Global Semesters program coordinator), Nick, and Emily on a day trip to Verona.

19. Will I ever get to a point that I can look through my pictures without wanting to cry?

I never got used to walking past this beauty.

20. Remember when I walked past the Duomo on the way home from class? Yeah, that was nice.

Gallery, my favorite place for a vegetarian friendly aperitvo in Florence.

21. Turning twenty-one is useless when aperitivo doesn’t exist in America…also wine is expensive here.

22. Thank goodness I go to a school where everyone is required to study abroad, at least for a little. We can all commiserate.

23. No matter how much those people warned me that I’d really miss it, I didn’t realize how much I would actually miss Florence.

24. THEY HAVE TIGER IN AMERICA! THEY HAVE TIGER IN AMERICA!

25. They do not sell the infamously loved, terrible watermelon, strawberry, and cola flavored candy logs at the Tiger in America.

Sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo.

26. Game plan next time I’m in Florence: walk past the duomo, cry, buy those candies at Tiger, get a panino, walk and eat (because as soon as I finish, I need to start eating gelato from Vivaldi), watch a sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo with wine from Conad, make plans to see my Italian family the next day.

27. Who am I kidding? I’d make plans with my Italian family as soon I booked the flight. Everything else could wait.

Venice during Carnevale is an experience truly unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

28. Venice during Carnevale was one of the best ideas all semester. Everyone that goes to Venice needs to experience Venice during Carnevale.

29. Usually when someone says something sweet you respond with “Aww…you’re going to make me cry.” the person doesn’t actually start crying. I legitimately just cried in public because someone said they were going to study abroad in Florence.

30. When can I go back?



A little recap for those who are new around here:

Streets and Streams was initially planned to document my study abroad experience: before, during, and after. I wanted to show people all the effort that went into getting a visa, planning classes, the nervous excitement of getting ready to live in another country for a few months…
In the end, I started early than anticipated.

Why?

Because I (unexpectedly) went to Egypt.

Before that trip and before I went to Florence, I published posts sharing thirty thoughts and feelings I was having going into the experience.

3 thoughts on “30 Thoughts [After a Semester Abroad]

Add yours

    1. I’m so excited for you, I’d go for another semester if I could. Definitely search around the blog, a lot of my posts from last year are all about getting ready my semester—and follow me on Instagram, @streetsandstreams! If you have any questions about anything at all, please feel free to email me (streetsandstreams@gmail.com). Bon voyage!

      Liked by 1 person

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