Day 19, Last Day, Florence

It all begins to come to a close now. It's interesting looking back as the retrospective window is drawing closer and closer. I've loved every minute here...well thats a lie, but I've loved it here overall. Its been eye opening in somethings, good for reflecting in most, and interesting overall. Something I've still struggled with is trying to take it all in and be able to process it all. I doubt I'll really every get to a point where I feel like I can process any of this well. 

      I'm currently sitting in my hotel room in Florence, the evening before flying home and I'm trying to think back over the past few days and start thinking out loud with the thoughts about going home and that whole missing home attitude. I didn't really think about it too much till today, but I guess that is something worth reflecting over.

      There have been so many differences, and for all the stupidity that sums up the USA, there are so many things I didn't count to be so deeply ingrained in me. I miss a lot of even little things. Like understanding whats going on around me, knowing where to get good food...How we do taxes, or how we handle food and for that matter give free refills, and  things simply like being able to say hello and understand the greeting back more than simply a word of response but as an actual phrase that has meaning. I don't know if that last one makes a ton of sense, but knowing the words for hello or good day is a lot different than understanding all its nuances and all its deeper meanings, and contexts and tones of voice.

      The idea of just not double guessing yourself is going to be great. I think its a stresser more than we often give it credit, the simple innate life taught skills of interacting with people. It's so very cultural, and while I've been blessed to know how to do so through opportunities my parents have provided whether intentionally or not, it still is subconsciously difficult to know when and how do say/ do and be certain things at certain times.

      I'm going to miss this, and I know I'll feel like I haven't let myself really get deep in this country and culture... I've been timid, but then again I know myself and I've pushed myself and I have high expectation because without them I know I wouldn't push to do much at all. High aims are the means of great accomplishments I think. Anyways, I'd love to spend more time here, more in each place. Its hard to sort out the attraction to different areas. To talk about how the country is so different than the USA becomes factual, though its lived. I try and put it into words and I come up with lists that don't come close to describing the difference in the air of Italy (literally and metaphorically). 

       For those who may be curious here is a quick rundown of my favorite places in order: 

  1. Assisi and Castelrotto tie, though Assisi is a bit bigger so long run it may be easier to do things there, and these two fit me to a T...so quiet and naturalistic...and old.
  2. Florence- beautiful and the Duomo still slaps me in the face every time I come around that corner...takes my breathe away and I will truly miss it
  3. Cinque Terre- fun and beautiful...gorgeous depsite it being a tourist trap.
  4. Venice, though my experience there was humid and crowded getting away was awesome though and the canals and buildings just have a charm to them.
  5. Rome- big city for me, and the history and buildings are what draw me in
  6. Milan- big city with little remaining history so it feels too modern to keep me wanting to be there.

      I guess I could go and ramble on some more, but I am frustrated I can't pull enough thoughts together to make this more reflective. I'm definitely ready for home. I can tell it even in my lack of new material to write about. I guess its an issue when you process on the go so much, by the time you're ready to write its all been answered or shelved...or thats just me making up something crazy. Regardless this will be the last post.. I guess I'll write one on the plan, but that won't get posted till I'm back in good old Spring Arbor or Grand Haven. 

To Italy, I say farewell, You'll be missed, and I've loved the impact and lessons you've taught me. It will leave an unspeakable, unexplainable mark on me mentally, physically, and emotionally. Good-bye.