I figured since I am at Frankfurt awaiting my flight back to the States, I should talk about my last day in Florence (I’ll periodically post my other travels I never caught up to over the summer).
I am very happy with my last day in Florence. I spent the morning walking around looking for a Florence tank top – actually very difficult, they are not very big on tank tops unless you love Jack Daniels for some reason – and a small coin purse to remember Florence by. It was beautiful outside and I walked my butt off and of course found my tank top at my very last stop when I was about to give up and get a t-shirt.
Later on I took my Italian exam which wasn’t too bad. Strangely, as I got closer to the end I found myself reverting to English. I think it is because after Spring Break tourist season really kicks up so everyone speaks english to you even if you keep trying to speak to them in Italian-_- After the exam Olivia, Shannon, Maria and I went around to buy a few things for my parents and myself and I was able to practice my negotiation skills – which were not that fantastic.
I really enjoyed strolling around the city. I didn’t really understand when one of the professors said to view Florence as not good or bad, but simply different. Florence has its pluses and minuses just as America does. Such as the constant feeling of me slowly developing lung cancer due to the insane amount of smoking by the citizens and the constant exhaust from buses and taxis that will almost take your life many times. But the great thing about the city is it is so full of life. The streets will never be dull and empty, someone will always be there living out their life, being a tourist, being a street performer, or just hanging around and socializing with your friends in the piazzas. The city may be old, but it is almost as if there is a constant hum. people are out during both day and night, every night is a night to go out – as the bar beneath our apartment often reminded us in the wee hours of the morning. Also in Florence, the streets are for the people and cars. It is extremely common to just walk in the street if the sidewalk is inconvenient and let the cars drive around you and no one really gets angry in the process.
So after all my philosophical thinking and eating one of my last bars of Milka chocolate in a while and some spaghetti, Shannon, Maria, and I went out to find the Boar in which you are supposed to put a coin in its mouth and rub its shiny snout so that you will be brought back to Florence on day. And afterwards I had my last scoop of gelato sitting on a bench in the Piazza de Repubblica, watching kids ride the ferris wheel, the artists draw masterpieces on the street, and listening to the street performers play their music, talking about life.
I even agreed to go out to the bar Old Stove with Maria and Shannon later on in the night. They were all surprised, but I was aware it was my last night andI want to spend it the people I bonded the closest to. I spent about 2 hours there just talking with Nikki and Tay before I walked myself home to clean up parts of the apartment before I left at 4am. And in case you are wondering where Elisa is during all this, she left earlier in the week on Sunday so she could be home in time for graduation.
Saying goodbye was kind of horrible since the majority of everyone I met is from New England and I’m very far away in Florida so the chances of us seeing each other again is rare. However, it did make me happy when I saw how genuinely sad everyone was that I was leaving a couple days early and I know I will never forget them. I am going to copy what I posted on Facebook because there is no better way to say how I feel, and it saves me getting teary-eyed again haha. “As I sit here in the Frankfurt Airport I’m looking back on all the experiences I had while I was in Florence and exploring the world. I had an amazing time and met some equally amazing people along the way. I am so grateful I was able to study abroad and while I am excited to go home, it would be impossible for me to not miss these wonderful people. As my roommateShannon said “there is no one else who has and ever will experience what we have together.” From fine dining to sleeping on floors, we did it all and I hope by some miracle I’ll be able to see you guys again one day. Thank you for making my experience the breathtaking and unforgettable time I could never have dreamed of. I wish everyone safe travels and good luck with everything that comes at you in this crazy world. If we made it through this past semester, I know we can do anything.”
There were of course bad times when I was stressed or homesick or uncomfortable and down, but overall when I look at all the places I got to explore and even if i didn’t become close friends with everyone I met, I still was able to meet a lot. It really showed me how people can have the same jobs or goals, but live their lives completely differently in their own unique way. There really is no one “right way” and I know I should keep working hard and follow what I am passionate about. If it goes against “the plan” maybe it was time to change it anyway. I really did have an amazing time and I cannot wait to take a rest for a bit. I am so glad I got the experience to go aborad. If you’re ever unsure or scared or even just thinking it may be a possibility do it, go somewhere, even if it is just the state over. Experiencing a new culture does not mean accepting it or forgetting your own. So I hope you travel, live your hardest, and be brave enough to do crazy things that may not work out.
Ciao Firenze,cerchiamo di incontrare di nuovo; Goodbye Florence, let us meet again.