11 Days Post SienaSiena, Spring 2012

I wrote my very first post 11 days before I left for Siena.  I figured that the perfect way to conclude my blogging was to write my final post 11 days after I returned from Siena. I cannot believe that the semester is really over.  My final week abroad was amazing but as I packed, it did not actually feel like goodbye.  However, when I left my apartment at 6 o'clock that final morning, it finally felt real.  There were lots of tears as I hugged my roommates who live far away from me (especially my Italian roommate, who has never been to America).  I took mental pictures as my cab passed by the campo, and my route to the IES center one last time. Traveling home required me to be awake for about twenty four hours.  I was devastated to leave Italy, but at the same time, excited to be in America.  I felt delirious as my final plane neared it's landing.  I actually teared up when I saw New York City. The first few days of being home were bizarre.  I felt strange from jet lag and crazy sleeping patterns.  I had gone from walking the medieval streets of Siena to driving around New York suburbia.  I constantly thought about how much could change in just a few days.  Needless to say, the first few days back were bittersweet. It is hard to truly explain my semester in a few paragraphs, or even in conversation.  People ask me how this experience was, and all I can say to them is "it was really amazing."  But it was more than amazing.  It was revolutionary for me to be away from America for four months, especially in a place like Siena where one does not see many Americas.  I loved that I was startled when I heard someone speak in English (because it was so unusual).  I loved that I was thrown into a culture I really knew very little about and spoke very little of their language.  I learned that I am capable of adapting to the world around me.  I can now carry a conversation in Italian.  I am well versed in the history of a foreign city.  I can travel country to country without any anxiety. As I think about the way I felt writing my first post, I wish that person could read this post.  I had been so curious about what was ahead of me, and so nervous too.  I had worried that I would get homesick or get lost.  Instead I learned that I can do anything. America will always be my home, but Italy (especially Siena) will always have a piece of my heart.
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