Indiana University Overseas Study

Farewell Firenze

Elizabeth King

Home, such a wonderful place to be. Although, after spending six weeks in Florence, Italy, the word ‘home’ feels almost ambiguous.

Florence felt like home. I had a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, and friends that grew to be my “Firenze family”. My experience there was greater than I could’ve imagined. But as my departure day grew closer and closer, I felt myself getting more and more excited to go to my real home. I was ready to go back; to see my family, to sleep in my own bed, and to not live out of a suitcase.

But as I arrived home, I was prepared to encounter what everyone else seems to talk about: the culture shock, the jet lag, the intense longing for European life once again. And I waited, and waited, and waited for that all to happen. But after being home for three weeks, I can assure you, I haven’t quite experienced any of these. I was shocked. How can I, a now semi-cultured 19-year-old living in a small Indiana town, be content with Wal-Mart and cornfields when the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio were just staples in my Florentine existence? I’ve spoken with my newfound Firenze Friends and they’re all suffering from PDSFF, Post Departure Sadness From Florence. But alas, I have found myself content with my small, Midwestern life.

My time in Florence was a gift, a gift I am most thankful for. I lived a different life while I was there; I strolled, I meandered, I wandered. Every day I had the opportunity to explore a new treasure of Florence, like the Basilica de Santa Croce or San Miniato al Monte. I was able to cross many experiences off of my bucket list, like visiting the Roman Colosseum and throwing a coin in the Fontana di Trevi.

It was a different world over there, a world so unlike my own. Hopefully I can take my newfound strolling, meandering, and wandering with me to Bloomington and see my world in a different light.

I miss Florence, honestly I do. But something has to be said about the simple beauty found in an Indiana, hometown sunset.

Indiana sunset

A beautiful Indiana sunset

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