Not the Same Person
Stephanie, Florence, Spring 2012
May 7, 2012

The final weeks are finally coming to a close. That’s when I realized I had to make my bucket list of things I still wanted to do here in Florence. Sunrise at Piazza Michelangelo’s, visit all the parks in the outskirts of the city, climb the Duomo one last time, eat at every restaurant humanely possible and soak in as much Tuscan sun that appears through the breaks in the April showers.

I have finally finished all my travels over Europe. Paris was picturesque. It was once in a lifetime moment having a glass of champagne on top of the Eiffel Tower. Then it was Cinque Terre. This was one of the cities that I was most excited to go to. Cinque Terre was absolutely amazing. We hiked through the towns and ate lunch by the water. My last trip was to Munich for the infamous Fruhlingsfest aka “Springfest”. It was so much fun in our dirndls and the boys in their lederhosen. We cheers our giant beer mugs to once last adventure in Europe.

As my last few weeks draw to an end, it really has made me reminisce on my time here and the people I’ve met. Coming into this experience, I expected to have the time of my life. I anticipated the great food, the amazing sights, and the experience. What I didn’t expect was the attachment and how this city would change me forever. I arrived in Florence unsure and alone. But the city helped guide me through these past months. No matter what hardships or excitements, Florence and all of its wonders was there.  When I would come home to the city from a trip with tired eyes and an empty wallet, it was there with open arms. At first Florence was my home away from home, a temporary place to keep my things and lay my head. But it became more. It just became home. Home is a hard place to distinguish at this point in our lives. We have home and then we have our homes at college. Each place is something of comfort. And that’s what Florence has become, comfortable. I’m friends with the man at the café down the street and I know who to get my favorite sausages from in the market. I feel different walking down the street then I did when I got here or even a month later. I won’t go home the same whole person I arrived as. I’m leaving a piece of me here. So I’ll go and rub the boars nose one last time and wait till it’s my turn to return to Florence once again.

Stephanie – University of South Carolina

 

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About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.