A Reflection

Now that I am nearing the end of my time in Florence, there is a lot to reflect on. It is an interesting experience that I have here; it’s a different freedom than being at college. I feel like I am both better equipped for the world, while also feeling a bit overwhelmed about the future. Being in Italy, away from my parent for the longest time in my life, adulthood feels much nearer than in Pittsburgh. Having to be responsible for my own health and the cleanliness of my room and trying to decide what I want my life to look like as an adult; it is both scary and exciting. I have certainly grown in my ability to handle adversity; traveling as a student in Europe offers many chances for unexpected adversity. There are times when I am racing to the train station or nervously awaiting to see if my bag is too big that I regret choosing this unique semester. And then there are the many, many more moments, where I am watching the sunset over Florence or floating through the tulip gardens in Amsterdam or listening to the happy chatter of Dutch in Copenhagen, where I know that my life here is a blessing.
I wish I had known a lot at the beginning. I wish I had known that traveling out of the country should not be my main focus and that Italy has so many wonders to offer. I wish I had brought warmer clothes and been more realistic about the weather; I packed as if spring would come in February, but it sure did not. I wish I had brought my platform leather boots, but hindsight is 20/20.
I think what has surprised me most about my time in Florence is how different the place looks in February versus April; it doesn’t even feel like the same city, with all these tourists. Every place I loved to go to in the winter has a line now, or you need a reservation, which removes some of the fun. And the prices have skyrocketed, too. Another thing that surprised me is how much pasta one can eat and still be healthy. Finally, the way the time passed, and how quickly it all began and ended, I would have never thought.