Somebody pinch me! I genuinely cannot fathom that my class has traveled to fifteen cities–amongst five different countries–and completed a semester’s worth of macroeconomics just within the span of three weeks. I appreciate the retrospection that these blogs bring, plus they give me a chance to read up on my classmates’ experiences!

I’m not an overly sentimental person, but I admit my journey back home was a bit bittersweet. My first flight from Rome to D.C. was full of families finishing up their vacations, and though I was very much looking forward to seeing my parents again, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was leaving my study abroad family. Not to worry though, I still owe my study abroad friends a REAL penne alla vodka so we’ll be in touch. One of my favorite mottos my friends and I shared on this trip was “Same time, next year?”

Once back in Huntsville, I debriefed my home friends, planned dinners, and prepped for my upcoming internship. Sadly, my 4:30 sunrise hike got pushed back to evening time, but that might’ve been the best for my recovering sleep schedule. I grabbed my first dinner which was neither bread nor pasta and enjoyed the luxury that is ice water (with free refills, too!). 

Orientation for my internship took place a day and a half after my last flight, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I find it funny that work is taking me to Florence, AL when I was just in Florence, Italy two weeks before. For the time being, I’m enjoying getting back into old routines: who would have thought I would miss doing laundry at home? While I did miss my friends and family, I think the length of this study abroad provided just enough time to travel and see new sights, but not long enough to feel true homesickness. 

Some of my study abroad friends are staying overseas a bit longer, and I’m excited to hear how their adventures went at our class reunion in the fall! I’m planning a few small trips this summer: a concert in Nashville, visiting a few friends around AL, and possibly a road trip to NC–we’ll see. This trip has definitely helped me learn some things about myself: (1) I’m a yapper, (2) I need my caffeine in the morning to be a real person, and (3) I am a very passionate Chaco apologist. Who knows what you’ll learn about yourself when you decide to go abroad…