It’s fascinating how fast one place can come to feel like home. I’ve been here for four months now. I’ve built a routine for myself, made friends I hope to keep in contact with, and have gotten to explore this city and find that I know my way around pretty well. I even have a favorite coffee shop I go to study at, a favorite park I go to read, and a favorite restaurant where I know I will always get a satisfying meal. It is this aspect of familiarity that I’ve come to cultivate that makes this city home. I’ve noticed that when I come back from trips and set foot in Bologna I get a sense of relief. It’s not because my trip went wrong or anything of that sort. It’s because I am able to distinguish where I am; I don’t feel like a tourist wandering the streets here and this brings a sense of comfort.
Most of all, I feel that what makes Bologna feel like home for me is the people. I’ve met amazing people from all over Italy and the world for that matter. They’re here doing the same thing I’m doing and for similar reasons. I came to Italy because it had been a dream of mine since high school and I swore to myself that someday I would make it happen for me. I’ve also always felt like my place in the world is somewhere outside of the US and this was my first taste of what that might look like. The people I’ve come across have further inspired me to keep doing what I’m doing, which is traveling the world and learning from these experiences as I do it.
Below are a few pictures of places that have become part of my day-to-day outings. They’re places where I’ve gone to relax, sip on a coffee, encounter friends, meet new people, and where I’m currently writing this blog from.