So I haven’t thought much about this blog in a while. It’s been about a month since I’ve been back from Europe, and all I can think to say is how much I miss it. Every little bit. Even the things I found annoying sometimes. I miss going to the grocery store, getting my cappuccino, speaking Italian, struggling to speak Italian, being able to travel whenever almost whenever, the list goes on. There are some days that I am TERRIBLY homesick for Italy. Even though I’ve been keeping busy decorating my apartment and watching my boyfriend’s dog, Chowder, it’s the lifestyle that I miss most. I get tired of being in one place for more than a few weeks, I miss the hassle of going to the grocery store every few days, I miss being able to go out and sketch the statues in the statue garden, I miss walking everywhere and discovering the new things going on in the city spontaneously. Life itself was so spontaneous. I’m hungry, I go eat; while walking to go get food, there’s an antique fair; I decide to go sketching, there’s street performers. The life and the excitement of Europe, nay, Florence, is irreplaceable.
Justin, my boyfriend, asked me if I would want to move back to Florence to live there permanently. Surprisingly, I had no idea how to respond! For as much as I miss that place, and being able to travel Europe, I don’t know if I would want to live there permanently. I feel like it would lose its “special-ness.” It would also be WAY harder to find a job, and we’d have to go through the trouble of establishing residency, and I would have NO idea where to even begin with that. Just thinking about those things makes me that much more glad that I studied abroad. The hassle of visas and permesso di soggiorno‘s was just taken care of for me. NEVER will it be that easy to stay in one place for more than three months. And besides the hassle, what made that experience so memorable, were the friends that I got to share it with. I know that I had special ones back home, like my boyfriend and doggies, but being in the same boat struggling and rejoicing with everyone else established a bond with those people and memories that can only last a lifetime. I know that no matter how long I stay or how many times I go, I will ALWAYS remember Florence as the place I studied abroad, and not the countless times I’m sure to visit it – if that even makes sense. Anyways, I saw a quote on my Facebook. Although it applies more to personal relationships, I think it can apply to any form of love; it goes like this:
Distance is just a test to see how far love can travel
I was thinking about this all day today. I’ve experienced first hand a long distance relationship several times. But studying abroad for a year really put my personal relationship with my boyfriend to the test. You know you really love someone if you can be apart for about a year and come back loving them the same if not more. As the age old saying goes: distance makes the heart grow fonder. And it’s true. You don’t realize how MUCH you love someone, or something, until it’s gone, or in this case, far away. I think the same can apply for my love relationship with Florence. Now that I’m away, I realize all the little things that I love and miss about the place. If you never stretch yourself, or never leave what’s comfortable, you never realize what it is you truly love. Italy became comfortable. I had to move back for personal reasons as well as logistical ones, like my visa expiring and needing to finish up college. And I think that if I did live in Florence permanently, I wouldn’t treasure it as much as I do now. It’s the same logic as when I was IN Italy: I missed San Luis Obispo and Murrieta, that was home, where my friends and family were, I had control over my whereabouts (aka: driving) and communicating. But now that I’m here, everything is reversed. I guess that’s what travel does to you. You experience places, people, and things, and continuously want to live in that exciting life. It’s the wanderlust in us all. But none of those feelings would be there if we didn’t have a reality to hold on to. I suppose it’s the paradox of life, or at least that’s how I see it. I wouldn’t love either place as much as I do if I didn’t have to go back to one or the other.
Anyway, enough philosophical pondering.
I’ve been trying to think of what to do with this blog now that I don’t live in Italy any more. I’m thinking about turning it into just daily muses. Like a song I like, a funny photo, a book I’ve read, decorating my apartment, or oh mio dio! a place I’ve been (recently or in the past). SO! Aside from blog updating from the past year (which to me is a given since I didn’t post everything immediately and STILL have SO much to do with it), I’m going to put a poll on this post. I’m not sure if anyone will respond because I’m not sure how many people consistently follow this blog, but I figured I’d try just for funsies. 🙂