Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Piano, piano, but run fast girlfriend…

At times, I have found myself so overwhelmed and homesick, that I question whether studying abroad was the right thing to do. Never in a million years, prior to leaving, would I have ever thought that this would be the case. It’s not where I am that makes me uneasy, it’s what I left behind and what I am unable to recreate here. I have never lived a day without playing soccer, or riding horses, or even my dogs. (My parents are going to be offended they didn’t make this list, but skype is keeping us pretty well connected!) The bottom line- the experience of studying abroad provides you with a new appreciation for all the people/animals, places, and activities that you tend to take for granted at home, making very clear the things that you hold closest.

Piano, piano- slowly, slowly. That’s the motto for life here in Italia… Don’t rush your everyday routine because you will inevitably overlook some of the most charming details of life. (i.e.) By worrying so much about the things I don’t have, I came very close to ruining what I do have- an opportunity to live life in a new way every single day… Not until I was able to recognize this, could I begin to fully seize all that this little city with a big heart has to offer.

Running has played a very important role in all of this and has allowed me to view parts, in and around Florence, that a person wouldn’t necessarily get to see on an ordinary basis. I typically run a little after sunrise (around 6:30 am), mostly because crowds mob the streets during the day and you WILL get run over or get stuck behind the adorable old lady with her bread. This time, when it’s just me and the cobblestone, has been that which has allowed me to build the deepest connection with the city and its intricacies.

Running in the late afternoon is a whole other, much more amusing, story however. This is when you get a real taste for the “the people.” I always laugh, because no matter what, you are going to get your fair share of catcalls and people that really just want to talk to you. The other day, I was walking back from the park in a Red Sox hat and carrying a soccer ball. I heard “Ragazza! Ragazza! You are from Boston. Talk to us!” Against my better judgment, I turned to face the old man standing in front of his restaurant, with several other younger guys surrounding him. I talked with one of them, while the others kicked my ball about the street. In the end, I came out with free pizza for the rest of my time in Florence. This just proves that the smallest everyday activity can be a cultural experience in one way or another.

Why I’m bothering to mention this- today is exactly 30 days from when Rebecca and I return home and we certainly have a lot left to see and lifetimes of knowledge left to learn.

A presto,


  1. "Piano, piano". Maybe slowing down is exactly the lesson you were intended to learn, to make the most out of every day and take the time to appreciate everything and everyone in your life. In this sense, is even homesickness a gift? I truly believe we cannot appreciate what we have (home, family, friends, sports, . . . )until we have left them. Beautiful post, Lindsey!

  2. I love this post! Totally understand those feelings of homesickness/appreciation

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