A New Meaning to "A Dream Come True"

Sunday, 27 December 2009 12:31 by kc004

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas! My Christmas season is lasting longer than anticipated with 3 celebrations under my belt, another one for today, and two more this upcoming week. I guess that’s what happens when you haven’t seen ANYONE in four months. I’m not complaining!

Just about everyone I’ve seen has asked me how it feels to be back. I answer the same way every time… “It’s good to be home. I miss Perugia. And strangely, it all feels like a dream.” And it's all true. I love being home and seeing everyone and enjoying the little comforts of America. I miss my roommates, my Italian friends, and the city of Perugia. And strangely, it feels like it never really happened. Part of me feels like I never left here. It’s like I have all these memories floating around in my mind that might have well been what I’ve been dreaming about for the past four months.

However, when I look at a picture, or retell a story in full detail, my mind is reminded that I did in fact do these things, I did in fact grow bonds with these people, and I did in fact live in Italy for four months. I want my memories and experiences to stay dear to me forever and I don’t want them to become a blur of “did I really do that?”

While I won’t always be able to tell these stories around friends and family here, I will always be able to talk about them with my roommates. The bond I have with my Italian roommates is something I’m not ever going to give up And even though they are scattered about the United States, I know that with a little bit of effort from all of us, we can stay close for many years down the road.

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Arrivederci Italia! Hello America!

Monday, 21 December 2009 20:43 by kc004

First off, I would like to apologize for not writing sooner, but things have been crazy lately!

Last Thursday was my last day in Perugia. I wasn’t more specific earlier because I was trying to surprise my fiancé by coming home earlier than he expected. For my last day, I ate a panino, walked around Perugia with a gelato, attended the Umbra farewell appertivo, and then went to Pizza E Musica for a later dinner. The entire day I was in denial, and continue to be so. It hasn’t hit me that I’m not going back there. It feels like I’m on one of my weekend trips.

Thursday night at 1am, Umbra shipped us down to Rome on buses. We arrived at the airport by 3:30 am and my flight wasn’t until 9:45. At this point I had been awake since the following morning, but I wasn’t tired and could not sleep at the airport. I spent time talking with friends and staying in denial.

Around 8 I said goodbye to everyone and went through security to my gate. When I said goodbye it didn’t really feel like I was. I know I’m going to see my roommates again, I’m just going to have to realize that it isn’t going to be for a while.

The flight was fine, long but fine. I slept for about 3 hours, but of course it wasn’t anything solid. I sat next to a woman who had studied in Peruiga many years back and now lives between Italy and New York City. Sounds like a nice deal. During the flight I was served a horrible, microwaved cheese and chicken sandwich. At that moment, I knew that I would never have my amazing Italian panino, made by my favorite panino man, again. I think that was the first moment that I realized that I was leaving.

Clearing customs was easy, but dragging my 70 and 60 pound suitcases wasn’t.  Help wasn’t far beyond the gates though. My mom and stepdad was there and it was so great to see them! Especially since they had Reeses peanut butter cups for me.

With every step I took outside that plane, I felt more and more like I was in America. Everything was written English, people were speaking a language that I fully understood, and when I got to the streets, people were stopping at stop signs!

I somewhat successfully surprised my fiancé back at the house. He has an inkling that I was coming home since he hadn’t heard from me in about 2 days and someone somewhat slipped at the bar the night before about my returning.

Since I’ve been in America, I’ve seen most of my friends and family of course, but have also done many other home-in-America things. I’ve driven a car…quite slowly and cautiously. I’ve taken a hot shower and dried with a clean fluffy towel. I’ve washed and dried my clothes in machines. I slept in a big, supportive bed at the same time as the heat being on. I’ve eaten Subway, two times. I’ve watched basketball and football with English commentary on an obnoxiously big screen TV. I’ve been to a supermarket and Walmart. And the list can go on and on…

As I’ve already said, it really hasn’t hit me that I’ve left Perugia and am back in the “real world.” I’m very happy though to have returned for the holiday season. I feel sorry for those who are still stuck in Europe because of the snowstorm and airline holiday strikes. I’m really sorry I put in that order for snow so soon.

I wish everyone very happy holidays! I’ll continue to blog about my “re-entry” experiences. I’m sure there are still good stories to come!

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And it all comes crumbling down...

Tuesday, 15 December 2009 08:29 by kc004

 

First things first, there was just a small earthquake in Perugia! But I'm fine and everything's normal.

Although the city may have just escaped crumbling to its very core, I have not. My entire body knows that something is coming and I've felt sick to my stomach for days now. My roommates are experiencing the same things. We're trying to keep our minds preoccupied with cooking meals and studying for finals, but we can't help but think about how we have to leave each other in only a few days.The tears have already started flowing.

It's hard to explain this all to people back home who take it as us not missing them. That isn't the case. I miss my fiance, family, friends, and home more than people understand, but I know that I'm leaving behind more here. Four months ago when I left home, I knew I would be returning to the US. But now I'm leaving Perugia and not knowing when I'll be back or if I'll ever see these people again.

It's all so bittersweet.

 

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It's been a long few days

Friday, 11 December 2009 09:44 by kc004

It’s been a long few days. I just finished up my last class, have finished all my papers and projects, and have already started the emotional rollercoaster of ending the semester abroad. At this point, I have 4 finals left. It’s almost over and I don’t know what to do.

Two nights ago, my roommate found out that her grandfather passed away. Being very close with her grandparents, Nicole was devastated. After a very emotional night for her, and little sleep for us all, she decided to fly home early to be with her family. While no one is ready to leave Perugia, Nicole has the even more difficult task of leaving early and returning to a distraught family. My heart goes out to the Prunetti family and all their friends.

Nicole leaves tonight and it’s going to be the beginning of one of the most difficult transitions I’ve faced in my life. When I left home I knew I would be returning to everyone in 4 months time, but now I’m leaving all of these people without knowing when I may see them again, if ever. I’ve become a stronger person, but I don’t know if anyone can be prepared for leaving what they have come to love.

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