Although, I don't leave Europe until the beginning of June, I have to say goodbye to the amazing city of Torino within the next few days. May 15th seemed so far away in January. Yet, somehow it creeped up way too fast, and I have to say goodbye to new friends, enjoy the city as much as possible, and pack. The cliché of your studying abroad experience being over before you know it is so true. Even though in someways I feel like the first day in Torino was forever ago, I also feel like the time has gone incredibly fast. Studying and living in Torino has been an unexplainably amazing experience that I will never forgot and I am so grateful I have had.
This is the third time I have tried to write this post because thinking about leaving, saying goodbye, returning to america and going home, and not coming back next semester is really overwhelming and brings up such a mix of emotions. If this post is disjointed, this is why. Of course, I am thrilled to be seeing my parents, friends, and home soon. I am excited to start work and have a break from school. I am excited to eat New Mexican food and all the other food I can't get here. But, it is so hard to fathom that this Wednesday, most of us are leaving or at least parting from one another. It seems strange that I will be going back to my college in the States next semester and not back to Torino. It's weird that I will never see my apartment again and don't know when I can meet up with my roommates or other amazing friends I have made here within USAC, Erasmus, and with Italians. Thankfully we can keep in touch with Facebook, but it will be an adjustment not to see them so often. The weather is also making it hard. I went to Parco Valentino yesterday with Katie and Roza and had a little picnic in the grass, surrounded by groups of friends, families, and couples. The weather was perfect and the energy was so captivating. I can only imagine what summer is like in Torino.
Packing is also hard. What should I throw out? What should I try to force into my suitcase? Will my luggage be overweight? Why am I leaving? What if I just stay here?
I think that I probably will experience reverse culture shock when I come back to America, although for the first few days I will be too jet lagged to notice much. I assume the amount of English I hear will be shocking, along with the amount of food options, the need to drive everywhere, big box stores, and the lack of gelato shops, bars, and pubs. I don't know if I'm ready to come home, or maybe it is that I don't know what "ready" means. I am a bit homesick. It just feels strange that I won't be coming back after summer. But I guess that shows how much of a home Torino has come to be for me. This makes me really happy because one of the reasons I wanted to study abroad was to become familiar enough with a foreign place that it starts to feel like home.
I will remember this experience as eye opening, culturally stimulating, full of personal growth and learning, and just unbelievably cool, crazy, and cheerful.
I should be blogging about my travels with my Parents to Florence, Bologna, and Paris. And also, once I go back to school in August, I will get to develop my 35mm black and white film, scan the images, and upload them here.
So, Ciao, Torino! Mi manchi già e non posso aspettare di tornare. Grazie mille per una l'esperienza di una vita!
I also want to thank all the readers of this blog, and I hope it was helpful. Feel free to ask any questions!