The week leading up to the devastating news was kind of a blur. Every day we were being told schools were going home and it didn’t actually hit until our friends began to be sent home. At this point majority of the schools had sent the email saying their students needed to come home. I knew it was coming but when I actually got the email it was devastating. My heart hurt so badly because I had worked so hard to be able to study abroad and it was getting ripped away. I had decided after mourning that I was going to make my last week in Florence the best week of my life. My friends and I did just that, we celebrated, we cried, but most importantly we had the best time together.
This trip was the best moments of my life so far and I will forever treasure my experience. I have met friends that will be in my life forever and memories that will never fade. I have a few significant moments that I will forever cherish. I was completely taken out of my comfort zone as soon as I landed in Italy. It was a huge adjustment to go through and I was a little blind to that before I arrived. I learned so much about myself in the first week I was there. I fought through the culture shock which I didn’t think I was capable of at the time. I opened up and just let my life flow which is very hard for me to do. I love a schedule and consistency, but after my time abroad I learned I can do anything thrown at me. Another significant moment was when I got the news, I was being sent home. Through that, I was reminded life is short and anything can happen in the blink of an eye. I have become stronger because of that moment and I appreciate every little thing in life now because it can be ripped away at any minute.
I found out I have a love for traveling while in Italy and I think that will forever stay with me. I am determined to return back to Europe, especially Italy. Another thing that will stay with me is the mental strength I had while there. Living in a brand-new culture is not easy and took a lot of mental strength. Also having an experience that meant the world to me be ripped away also taught me to stay mentally strong. I got to see another side of agriculture in a different country while abroad. These classes will help me stand out with my major in agriculture business and have a new respect for how other countries farm. I had the experience of my life and so lucky I was able to go even if it was just for a month. Ciao for now, Italy I will be back!
Kaeli was a spring 2020 Florence student from Colorado State University.