Welcome to Italy – First Week Here

Settling in, something I must say I didn’t think would take me longer than a day. I’m writing to you at the near end of my first week abroad in the beautiful city of Florence, actually writing live from a train journey to Venice. To formally introduce myself, my name is Celina and I am a current senior studying biomedical sciences with a pre-med track (going to med school maybe..? or hopefully..?) and have the absolute pleasure to be studying aboard for six weeks in Florence Italy. Although I am European growing up in my home country Germany, I have never been to Italy. This is even though Italy has always been my dream country to see in life and possibly move to if I decide to not remain in Germany after my degree. Overall I simply want to experience Italian life rather than Italian tourism as I have Italy as a potential living place in my notes.  

Anyways, I had a feeling I would settle in quite quickly and be able to have all the power in the world to be exploring the first week, but to my surprise my time here has not gone like that quite yet. I have found that all I want to do this week is relax, buy things needed for my apartment, figure out how to get to class without maps (almost there), and simply live a “regular” week here. Simply walking around downtown and not being in a hurry to see it or do it all. It took me a day or two of watching others explore every day and being out and about to come to the realization that taking a relaxing week of me time to settle in is a luxury I have by being here for six weeks. I am not a tourist on this trip to Europe, but get to live that mundane life from time to time and still have plenty of time to see and explore as much as I want. I believe that not having to hurry from place to place and being able to sit back and really enjoy the Florentine life is beautiful. Now that I have been here for a week and have settled in I can look back and see that not rushing around was the right decision for me and I don’t need to feel like I am wasting precious time. This afternoon in particular, I made some pasta before my class and the realization fully kicked in. I got to open my kitchen window and let the fresh Italian air and sunlight in while I cooked some food and worked on a class; it was wonderful. The best I can describe it is as though my regular day to day tasks had been completely romanticized.

I just want to share that you don’t have to stress yourself to see too much at once, take time, really appreciate what’s around you, and if you feel as though you want to do nothing but relax while here do it! Although this blog post may not have described much of the Italian life so far, I believe it’s important to not let ones expectations become the way you feel something HAS to go, it might be worth rethinking certain plans and going with the flow sometimes.

Celina

( Next post I’ll finally have a picture of me in Italy)

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