A month into Rome: Homesick and exploring alone

Read all the exciting things our scholars have been up to!

I want to start off the blog by saying it’s been truly a blessing to have the opportunity to be able to live in Italy. The month has been full of churches, museums, art, food, and parties. It has been an incredible experience so far with good and bad; which are both blessings because there is a learning experience in the bad and appreciation in the good. We visited Assisi, Florence, Venice, Tivoli, and Anzio this month. We have visited many museums- the Maxxi, the Vatican, the Borghese Gallery, and the Capitoline Museum. Every weekend is a busy one filled with new experiences.
Something I have been struggling with the past week or two is feeling homesick. Along with feeling homesick, I was feeling guilty for feeling that way. This trip is a blessing and an opportunity… so why do I feel this way? I forget sometimes that we are allowed to feel more than one way, even though they might seem contradictory. I am homesick but under good circumstances. My feelings of homesickness and the guilt attached to it made me realize a little what immigrants feel like; what my mother felt. A sense of loneliness and not having loved ones surrounded with you in the flesh, detached from your culture. With the circumstances of my upbringing, my mother experienced a few years without her children, the only blood she had in the country she immigrated to. My mother and so many others felt, and feel homesickness under very different circumstances of my homesickness. This circles back to the idea of being kind and spreading love because you never know who needs it. I am also grateful that I have not been forced into the position of having to leave my country for a better life. It is something as a kid I didn’t realize until I met and saw many people who were in that position. I feel like I have had a taste of it and I am aware that it is in a way more privileged circumstances. I am grateful for this scholarship and my mother who was a huge help in getting me to study abroad.
This realization I had also showed me that anything you put your mind to is possible. My mother is the strongest and focused person I know. The things she has gone through and to see her persevere with positivity is inspiring. She has taught me everything I know and I am eternally grateful for her.
A month and some days in and I have finally explored a little on my own. I enjoy and value alone time. Getting alone time has proven difficult studying abroad- with being with my roommates and abiding by the safety recommendations for students in the city. With precautions I went to the park and wandered for a few hours, enjoying the day. It is a different experience walking in Rome alone than with others. Getting to know Rome alone gives me the opportunity to sit and adapt to her at my own pace. Growing up because I moved often, one of my favorite things to do was go out on walks alone and introduce myself to the new environment. I like to say I go on dates with the city and learn the little details of the way of life there. It’s my way of falling in love with wherever I stay, so being able to build the courage and explore on my own was very nice. The first few weeks have flown but I feel time starting to slow down. I am excited about what comes next! Talk to you later!