I honestly am not sure how I feel about leaving. On the one hand, I am BEYOND excited to return to the United States and see my family and friends. Mainly because I am still not sure how I survived being without them for so long. But on the other hand, I absolutely love Italy and I am extraordinarily sad to leave this beautiful country.
I keep trying to figure out if I have changed since I've been here. Everyone always says that big life experiences change a person, but I haven't really noticed any difference in me from before. Maybe that's because I am "still me". When I say that, I don't mean that I haven't changed, I just mean that maybe I changed slowly and gradually over my time here, so much so that it went unnoticed by me. So from my perspective, I am still the same person. From other people's perspectives possibly not so much. I'm sure my loved ones won't hesitate to tell me just how much I have changed once I get the chance to catch up with them. One thing I do know is that if you let it, Italy can really change you. I believe that with all of my heart because this country changed me after my first sojourn here back in 2009 on a foreign exchange program.
Will my time in Italy change the way that I see America and my opinion of her? Yes, and I'm pretty sure it already has. This experience has definitely made me appreciate America more, but there are some aspects to Italy that I wish I could pack in my suitcase and take them back with me. For starters, the way the men dress here. Men dress well and they take care in their appearance, it's as simple as that. That goes for women as well. In general, people in Italy are always sure to look presentable before leaving their homes. Second, I'm pretty sure I will feel lost without being able to participate in aperitivo again for awhile. I LOVE APERITIVO.
Honestly, I like to think that I have an open relationships with both America and Italy. Thankfully they are countries, so jealousy has not really been an issue in this situation. I was born and raised in America and I will always love the country, but I also feel at home whenever I am in Italy (particularly in Rome). So I guess the title of this post can be considered a message to both countries: Leave a light on for me, because I will be back as soon as I can be.