What do I miss? Mostly, I miss the slower, simpler lifestyle. I miss outdoor cafés, an aperitivo after work, small neighborhoods bustling with people and life, walking through narrow, crooked alleyways on my way to the market, packing a back and hopping on a train to visit a new place on the weekend. I miss the friends I made there, now scattered throughout a variety countries. I miss learning another language, being uncomfortable, but becoming a stronger person for it. I miss the history and architecture, each building's charm and ancient details still (mostly) intact. I miss eating local foods--and lots of them--without talk of calories or consequences.
Now that I'm back in the US, I have a job at a school I love, and work with some extremely intelligent, kind, and supportive people. Many of my students have either lived abroad or have traveled quite a bit, so we have that in common. (I chose this school because of its international community.) I understand what they've experienced and where they're coming from, so it helps me build relationships with them and appreciate their varied perspectives.
Anyway, I'm sure everyone goes through this. Anyone who has moved understands these feelings of sadness and regret mixed with optimism and hope. I'm really lucky to be where I am today, but can't help but think about the many roads that led me here.
|One of the cobblestone streets in my neighborhood in Rome|
|Our last night in Rome, walking home after dinner|