My experience abroad has officially come to an end and I’m back home in the US. It’s crazy to think back to four months ago when I was just getting ready to leave. The nerves were setting in, I was anxious and excited at the same time, and I really didn’t know what to expect. Little did I know, I was about to embark on the best semester of my life.

Florence quickly became a second home to me. I already miss its small cobblestone streets, the amazing food and wine, seeing the top of the Duomo from any part of the city, and the people. I couldn’t have asked for a better city to explore for four months.

Thinking back on my time abroad, it’s really all a blur in the best way possible. I travelled to ten different countries and checked so many things off my bucket list that I never dreamed I would get to do. From paragliding in the Swiss Alps, to swimming in the hot sprinsg in Greece, to boating around the Amalfi Coast, I truly had the experience of a lifetime.

I am so grateful for my abroad experience. It went above and beyond my expectations and I really do feel like a different person. I know it’s cheesy to say “abroad changes you,” but for me it’s true. I feel like I really grew up this semester. I gained so much independence, I have a new sense of confidence that I’ve never had before, and I feel so genuinely happy with where I am in my life. I also met some amazing people along that way that brought nothing but positivity into my life and I made lifelong friends that I got to share this experience with.

Although I’m sad that my time in Florence has come to an end, I’m grateful for the memories it gave me and I will take those with me for the rest of my life. I hope someday I can travel again and keep exploring this big wide world that we live in, but until then I will keep my memories close to my heart and move forward as the confident, independent girl I have become.

Ciao for now…