Today is my first day back in the United States. I cannot believe how fast this semester flew by. In just four short months I have traveled to six different countries and 15 different cities all over Europe. Never again will I get a chance to experience this kind of “studying” aka extended vacation and I cannot thank my family enough for making this possible.
Here is a list of all the places I visited:
1. London, England
2. Florence, Italy
3. Sienna, Italy
4. Pisa, Italy
5. Rome, Italy
6. Villars, Switzerland
7. Venice, Italy
8. Paris, France
9. Madrid, Spain
10. Barcelona, Spain
11. Munich, Germany
12. Austria (if you count driving through it on our way back to Florence thanks to the Volcano)
13. Cinque Terre, Italy
14. Amalfi Coast, Italy (including Sorrento, Capri, Positano and Pompeii)
Living in Italy has opened me up to so many new experiences and made me realize how important it is to learn a second language. I took Spanish for eight years growing up but could barely speak a word of it. After only 6 months of studying Italian though, I can proudly say that I am able to communicate very slowly in basic sentences. I want to continue teaching myself Italian and hopefully I will be able to return to Italy one day and fluently converse with the locals.
Italy has also exposed me to many different types of food and drink that I did not enjoy before I arrived but now can call some of my favorite foods. The main items on this list include tomatoes, mozzarella, aperitivo (pre-dinner champagne) and red wine. Yum! On our last night in Italy, everyone was a mess. We were all trying to say goodbye to each other with tears pouring down our faces. Even though I consider myself a crier, for some reason I did not shed a single tear. I think I was kind of in shock and also believed that this was not the end for my time in Italy. The first tears did come however when I saw my family waiting for me at the airport. Sob fest.
The scariest part about all this is that I am now a SENIOR IN COLLEGE!! What?!?! I am off to Madison this summer to take full advantage of my last summer break EVER. In just one short year I will be a real college grad off to having a real job (keep your fingers crossed on that one) and living on my own. Welcome to the Real World.