Homesick in Rome: Having roommates and writing for support

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As my third week in Rome comes to an end. One of my roomies throws the question, “What is the best part of Rome?” As I think maybe the wine and food, and the incredibly rich history and art, I really think to myself that the people I am with are the best part of Rome. Prior to leaving on this trip our parents met and told us that we had to have each other’s back because we are all we have in this foreign country. While feeling homesick and missing my family I look around and think I am blessed to have the roomies that I have. Traveling abroad is such a beautiful thing but with it comes trials and tribulations that our group has had to overcome together. To me, it shows that the people you surround yourself with are so important and that love and people are what life is really about. Another thing is that all my roomies have Latino roots. It’s a beautiful feeling to see Latina women in Italy striving and growing.

During my trip here it has been hard for me to be vulnerable in my writing. I have been hard on myself because writing is my form of memory. I don’t have any social media and I’m usually not taking photos because I’m in a moment and take everything in and appreciate it. So I capture everything in my heart and mind. So that I’m struggling to write when I’m having such beautiful experiences makes me believe I won’t have anything to remember when I grow older and my memory fogs. I usually write in my personal journal, but for some reason, it has been difficult to be vulnerable and to also just state where I’ve been and how I have been doing in Italy. I have been able to overcome external challenges and I know I can overcome internal ones. Writing is my sense of outlet and kind of like a photo album for me but obviously no photos. An obvious factor in this dampening of creativity might be the fact that life moves fast in study abroad. Constantly on the move has been difficult to really focus on my school work or have a moment or pause where I can save and reset my memories and feelings. The few moments of rest I do have are spent sleeping or recharging to be ready for the next adventure.

Another thing I am constantly reminded of is everyone has their own story. With the program consisting of a smaller group, it accelerated how vulnerable we got to each other (especially with the housing issue) and made me realize that everyone is at different stages in life and everyone has a different view of life. That is so beautiful. Differences are what make the world colorful and we should celebrate it instead of hiding it or feeling shameful.

I know I haven’t really mentioned the things I have done and places I have gone but rather the experiences I have been having internally. In my writing, I usually write where I am at mentally.

I know I should be vulnerable because it’s such a beautiful thing. Vulnerability and love are what creates the possibility of deepening and creating a much more intimate relationship between you and what you choose to be vulnerable with. I can be more vulnerable with myself and that opens the door to having a more intimate and beautiful relationship with my life and the people who surround me. I can be vulnerable with my roomies and that deepens and strengthens our connection. I have many lessons to learn and to apply to my life. So far, studying abroad has been an incredible learning experience full of love, passion, and support.