John Cabot University- Rome, Italy
Major: Interdisciplinary Health Services
Home at last! After 16 weeks abroad; I am finally home in Michigan and once again on U.S soil. Never before has coming home been so bitter sweet, almost as soon as I landed in the Boston airport, I wanted to turn right around and go back to my cozy apartment and be in the heart of Trastevere again.
There are many things I missed about the States; my family and friends being at the top of that list, but honestly I was more people sick than home sick. If I could just scoop up my friends and family and have them all live in the same city as me (preferably in Tuscany where I would, of course, own a charming villa just outside of the city) I would be content. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that my friends and family wouldn’t be quite so appreciative of me kidnapping them and holding them captive in sunny Italy. It seems as though I must leave that particular dream behind in Italy.
The things I missed about the States when I first arrived in Rome, became almost irrelevant by the time I was about to leave. My peanut butter cravings had almost completely stopped, apple cider became a thing of the past, and my dreams of Insomnia Cookies turned into dreams of tiramisu. It’s amazing how quickly you are forced to adapt when you suddenly find yourself in a strange new country with a completely different culture. What I realized was, it wasn’t the ‘things’ I was missing, the memories of what would occur around the things. I missed making nobake cookies with my sisters, while using way to much peanut butter in the process, I didn’t’ miss peanut butter itself. I missed girls nights with my friends where we would order insomnia cookies and lie to ourselves about how many cookies we’d actually eat. I missed the possibility of dragging my boyfriend to the cider mill to do stupid fall couple things (and tbh I also missed cider…).
The same missing/longing is true for Italy, I don’t miss being hit by vespas wherever I go, or not being able to get a coffee larger than what equated to a US small. I miss going to the piazza in the afternoon and eating a panini on the steps of the fountain while people watching. I miss a late night stroll to see the Colosseum lit up at night with my roommates, and having our ‘going out’ playlist be music from various street performers all along the strada. I miss casually deciding to go to the Opera with a friend and meeting up by the Trevi fountain to get appertivos before the show would start. I miss the atmosphere and outlook on life that the Italians had, not random specific things (Although the food was really awesome, I do miss that sometimes)
My transition back to the States hasn’t been as smooth as I thought it would be. My sleep pattern was completely messed up for one, and just getting used to the American mentality was also a little difficult at first. In a culture where la dolce vita (the sweet life) is encouraged, and there is never any hurry to get anywhere or do anything in a rush. America’s get up at 6:30 and work from 8-5, hit the gym, eat a quick dinner and get some more work done before going to bed so you can wake up early only to do the same thing the next day; seems a bit harsh.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss Italy a little bit every day, but the same was true of when I was living in Rome. I missed the States a little bit every day too, not in the ways one would typically expect, I didn’t miss food so much, or various items or conveniences, I missed the people who were important to me. But when I think of Italy, I will always be reminded of the times where I would have an appertivo with my friends in the piazza and watch the fire dancers and various performers throughout the night. I miss speaking Italian and having people mistake me for being Spanish, because they couldn’t believe an American could speak another language so well. I miss days at the beach and train rides through Tuscany.
They say home is where the heart is, fortunately for me I left a piece of mine in Italy after reclaiming the piece I left here in the States. In my mind, it’s now not a matter of ‘if’ I’ll go back to Italy, it’s a matter of “when will I be going home again.”