Wednesday, August 25, 2010

To my dearest United States:

Suck my dick.
Just kidding.

The last week has been the most incredible experience of my entire life. Though I've been horribly ill (and in the emergency room for the last two days), I can honestly say that choosing to go abroad for the semester was the best decision I could have made for myself. I was considering coming home because of how sick I was, but I'm really glad I chose to spend a couple days in the hospital and get better before jumping the gun and taking a plane back to America. Yes, I miss some things about the States, but I honestly do love it here. Everything is so beautiful, and though the natives seem to hate Americans, I have found quite a few who were willing to help me with my broken Italian with their broken English.

In the last week since I hopped on that plane back in Boston, I have learned so much. I have been forced to come out of what little shell I had and make some brand new friends with people who are practically strangers. Sure, we don't all get along with each other, but that's just a part of life. The more important thing is that we're all in this together and we're helping each other learn a new language and a new culture. I'm currently in Tuscany (went to London for a few days, too), and I will be here till next Saturday, when I finally arrive in my apartment in Florence. This whole thing is just so surreal. I don't even know how to describe to you the way it feels to be living out of a hotel in a small Italian vacation town. It's like I'm living in a postcard, and I don't think I could ask for a better way to spend my semester... sure beats URI and Stoppy!

I've posted a shitload of pictures of this place on facebook. There may or may not be pictures of the bathrooms in there, too. And lots of weirdo drink pics. But honestly, Italy is so amazing and I'm so glad I came. I cannot wait to move into my apartment in Florence so I can start cooking Italian style for myself. Yay! Anyway, if you need to get ahold of me, facebook and skype are your best options. Try not to text (it's expensive!). <3

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ciao, Rhody!

So, I'm sure you know that I'm leaving the country soon for a study abroad experience in Italy for the fall semester. I'll be on a plane to London in eight days and settling into life as an Italian immigrant in eleven. Weird, right? You have no idea.

My very first apartment will be in another country on another continent with people I haven't yet met. I won't have an address and I won't know my roommates until Orientation in Viareggio. On the up side? I received my tickets, health card, luggage tags, and pre-departure package in the mail yesterday, including an itinerary for the trip. Guess where I'll be staying in London? PARK INN HYDE PARK HOTEL! Yeah, that's right. ANTM, anyone? I know, I'm a freak.

But seriously, guys. This is going to be the experience of a lifetime and I can't wait to get started! Let's start with the fact that this is the second time in my life that I'll have left the United States, but the first time that I'm going to be thousands of miles away from everyone and everything I know (with the exception of Derek, who will be in Florence with me, and Alyssa and Dustin, who will both be in Rome). I mean, I've met one person from my program (today!)and I'm sure we'll be tearing it up in Italy, but when you think about it, that's a whole lot of country to explore when you know practically no one. And you know what? That's probably the most exciting part. I don't know anyone there. I don't know any Italian. I don't have any idea how I'm going to survive completely on my own in a foreign country. And all the while, I'm so excited to be diving head-first into a cross-cultural experience. It's time to sink or swim.