It’s been a little more than one week since I returned from my month-long study abroad trip in Northern Italy. When I arrived home, I was thankful to see my family, and I was thankful to have many common amenities that weren’t available in Italy. Centralized air conditioning, free water at restaurants, free bathrooms, and ice were definitely at the top of the list. However, a week after being home, I miss some of the aspects of European life and culture. In all of the towns we visited, everyone walked everywhere and all the places you needed to go to live your life were within walking distance. I love this part of European culture, and I can’t wait for school to begin again in Tuscaloosa, as a small college town in the only other place I’ve found in the United States that can compare. I also miss Italian cuisine. Pizza and pasta are two of my favorite foods, and I don’t know if I will have anything like it in the United States that will compare to what I had in Italy. The weather was perfect during our time, and we even saw some amazing sunsets, like pictured below. A final item that I’ve noticed coming home is the crazy differences in infrastructure between the United States and Italy. In Italy, I loved the idea of being able to hop on a train and go anywhere, anytime at a low price. Italy’s train network is very impressive and it would be very cool to see something similar in the Southern United States in the future. The water resource engineering of Italy was also extraordinary. Water fountains were everywhere in every Italian city with potable water. Since studying water resource engineering in Italy, I’ve had a newfound appreciation for water filtration systems globally, and I’ve realized the strides the United States can make in water engineering, especially in cities struggling in this like Jackson, MS, and Flint, MI. Overall, I’m very thankful to be home in the United States and to live in an amazing country, however, I’m also thankful for my time in Italy, and will miss some of the amazing aspects of Italian culture and lifestyle.