Final Reflection – Florence

Studying abroad reminded me of the beautiful dichotomy of life. Of the safety and comfort of home, and the excitement and wonder that is found in new places. 

Over the course of five months, I made some of my most cherished memories that I am sure to hold close to my heart forever. Hiking in Cinque Terre, wandering the streets of Venice, and cruising through the Tuscan countryside are moments that are now rooted profoundly joyous memories of mine. I met people with gentle souls that spoke to mine despite our language barriers. Yet in the midst of making those memories, I had a creeping longing for home. 

Home is where my siblings and I laugh in a beautiful chorus and where my parents wrap me in hugs. It’s where I can crawl under the covers when life gets tough and feel like I’m a kid again. 

But when I returned home, it felt different. It felt like it does when you break out your summer clothes, and they are just a little too small after a long winter.  I have a little bit too much love and joy to give to just one place right now. 

So, whether I am here or there, I am working on being present. As I am at home, I am sinking into the warmth of familiarity. When I return, I will take a deep breath and remember the beauty that lies within that moment.