As I remember, it was freshman year that I discovered this study abroad program. I remember exploring the Health and Human Development website for the first time and noticing that the nutrition department here at Penn State had their own program to travel and study in Italy.
I thought to myself, how awesome it would be to experience that.
Freshman year passed, sophomore year came along and I still kept up to date on what was happening with the program, I even signed up for emails and I was receiving the same emails as the students that were going on the trip at that time. It was fascinating. Junior year came along and it became decision time. Who knew mom would let me travel half way around the world?! Two hours up to State College was far enough for her it seemed. But, mom surprised all and helped me with the application. I remember the night like it was yesterday. Sitting in my Hamilton dorm room off in the hidden lost third, door number 321. Alyssa still my roommate, sitting at the opposite side of the room observing my excitment of submitting my application for this IPN (International Program in Nutrition).
I remember as soon as I submitted it and hung up the phone with mom, I updated my status on FB to, 'just submitted my application for study abroad to Rome, Italy!' I got sooo many comments. Many of them being, 'does your mom know you did this?!' haha, well, she did it with me and it was mostly her decision. and let me tell you, it has been the best decision EVER.
Here I am, blogging in Italy at 2am ready to board a plane back to the states in a few short hours. The program is done. My time here in Italy is over. I can not believe that I did this. That I am here and have been here for 7 weeks, doing as the Romans do. I have SEEN so much, I have LEARNED so much, I have EATEN so much. This has been a journey like no other that I will never ever forget.
A few days ago, I started making little sticky notes about what I will miss and surprisingly, some things that I will not miss.
Here are my thoughts:
I will miss ...
- strolling through the cobblestone streetsides
-the jewish ghetto
-the walk to class
-early morning adventures to the outdoor markets
-saying 'ciao' and 'bongiorno!' to my elder italian friends
-eating food ALL day long
-watching the claudster get loopy
-skyping with my family (its way cooler to skype when you are far far away)
-euro beach soccer
-learning something new about the city of Roma each and every day
-trips with the nutr 399 class
-fresh water, anywhere and everywhere!
-listening to italian children speak to their caregivers
-listening to the children sing in their school room as i walk pass
-late night gelato runs
-coconut and dark chocolate gelato
-soaking in the sun on the terrace
-getting kicked out of the shower by Nick, and i quote ... "andiamo, Sahira!!!!!"
-blogging about italy
-prickly pear drinks
-watching the FIFA world cup 2010 in random places around italy
-being able to walk everywhere
-watching "when in Rome" or "letters to juliet" on fastpass tv a MILLION times and never getting to finish the entire movie. (although, last night, i was determined to sit down and watch the entire movie of "when in Rome". i wanted to make it a point that i watch it before i leave. it was a pretty good movie, by the way.
-my hair becoming more beautiful, shiny and very healthy due to the massive amounts of olive oil consumed
-dancing around in the apartment to waka waka
-cornettos with nutella
-grilled and FRESH mozzarella
-goat cheese and walnut pasta
-fresh cherries (bing) - they are AMAZING here!
-sightseeing ... everyday
-acting like we are pure locals and staring at other Americans observing how rude and demanding they are being (i have learned so much of how other cultures interact with one another)
-having class in a castle
-having a key to everything ... made one feel so important
-the very convenient bar in the shower ... made it easier to shave thy legs
-living in an apartment with tons of kids my age ... life changing experience
-the saxaphone player on the crossing bridge
-the most richest, luxurious living homeless man i have ever seen and his adorable paralyzed doggy
-the so called 'opera' singing lady that always stands across from the cat sanctuary to put on her shows, she would give me such a huge grin everytime i looked at her
-just my overall experience, you have to be here to believe it. you need to experience it for yourself, pictures do not do justice neither does story telling
-learning a new italian word everyday
-the friends that i have made here (although i will see most of them back at school, it is just the fact that we are all parting from each other)
-did i mention that i will miss Italy?
I will not miss ...
-the moldy shower curtain
-the flooding floors in the bathroom
-the disgusting kitchen
-listening to the most *annoying* laugh EVER from you know who at the most awkward times. It scared the heebie jeebies out of me everytime!
-not being able to go to meeting
-single spaced papers
-not being able to find blonde curly haired individuals ... hahahaha
-the 1 euro cent pieces
-not being able to use spell check
So I am sure the list could go on and on, but the less that I add here will mean the longer and more in depth my stories will be when I get home!
Which ... I am going to *hopefully* be airport bound in ~6 hours.
It is weird. Incredibly weird that this journey of mine is over. I have been all over the boot of Italy, top to bottom. I have learned everything there is to know about the Meditteranean diet, Architecture and the "interpretation" as Romolo would state it, and may I say that my Italian linguistics have improved immensely.
I feel as though there should be some music to accompany this post ... it is so sad. I mean ... extremely bitterSWEET.
Let's just say, I am so happy that I did this. It has added so many benefits/memories/skills/ideas/thoughts to my college career. I am a changed person. Or at least I think I am. My eyes are more opened to things and I have a different outlook on everything.
I want to thank my mom for giving me this opportunity to be here ... in Italy. Thank you to her for raising such a wonderful daughter (hehe) and giving her the chance to broaden her horizons. Thank you to her for helping me with everything, step by step through all. Extremely supportive, loving and caring she is. I cannot thank her enough for allowing me and supporting me through school and this huge adventure in my life. It is unexplainable how grateful I am! I mean, not many people get this wonderful opportunity, and she provided the means for me to be here.
I love you mom! I hope you like the olive oil I bring home! :P
One day, when I am on my feet, and have a job, and supporting myself, I am going to take me and ma on a trip back here ... that is my future hope. BUTTTT lets think about getting the internship first. Sorry, I keep thinking about it.
Anyway, this is sad, but I am saying goodbye to my home that was of this past 7 weeks ... tomorrow!
Italy has left a beautiful mark in my heart and I will miss it dearly.
I will see you all back home tomorrow! Let's hope I have safe travels, no delays, good weather, and a good experience with customs. If my wine gets taken away ... I will cry for days.
Farewell, my dear friend Italy. arrivederci! ciao! goodbye! ciao bella! ciao to the boot!
see you all very soon!
love and kisses.
ps- i may have some follow up blog posts about italy once i am home but for now this is the end of italy blogging. i hope you all enjoyed my scatter brained thoughts written in this online journal of mine.
i am hoping to keep live love eat up and running and blog throughout my upcoming school year and possibly even after that (but that is too far to think about right now). As of now, keep checking in because i enjoy recapping my daily adventures and i hope you do too!
ciao tutti bellas.
goodbye Rome, Italy.