As I sit here amidst the chaos of packing up my room and wrapping up finals, I can’t help but feel a rush of conflicting emotions. The semester abroad in Rome is winding down, and it’s time for me to bid arrivederci to this incredible city and head back home.

Getting ready to leave involves a lot more than just stuffing clothes into a suitcase. It’s a process of reflection, of gathering memories, and of mentally preparing for the transition back to reality. From sorting through textbooks and notes to folding up clothes that have seen me through countless adventures, every item I pack carries with it a piece of my journey.

One of the highlights of my time abroad has been the opportunity to explore Europe and collect postcards from each destination. From the stunning coastlines of Split to the bustling streets of Barcelona, each postcard is a snapshot of the places I’ve been and the experiences I’ve had. They’ll be coming home with me, serving as reminders of the incredible adventures I’ve been fortunate enough to embark on.

But as I prepare to say goodbye to Rome, I can’t deny the tug of sadness that accompanies the thought of leaving. This city has become my home away from home, its cobblestone streets and ancient ruins etched into my heart forever. Saying goodbye to the friends I’ve made, the gelato I’ve devoured, and the countless memories I’ve created is no easy task.

Yet, amidst the sadness, I also have a feeling of readiness to return home. I miss the familiar comforts, the embrace of loved ones, and the routines that I’ve temporarily left behind. It’s a strange feeling, wanting to stay and wanting to leave all at once, but such is the nature of studying abroad.

Reflecting on my emotions now, they’re a mix of excitement, apprehension, and nostalgia—much like when I first arrived in Rome all those months ago. Back then, I was eager to explore the world and soak up everything this city had to offer. Now, as I prepare to leave, I’m filled with gratitude for the experiences I’ve had and the lessons I’ve learned.

So, as I wrap up my time in Rome and embark on the journey back home, I carry with me a suitcase full of memories, a heart full of gratitude, and a determination to cherish every moment of this incredible adventure. Grazie, Rome, for the memories—I’ll carry them with me wherever I go.