There’s truly no place like home. After almost five months of the most incredible journey of my life, I was anxious to return home. I have always been dreaming of the day that I would leave Ohio and travel the world and found myself surprisingly excited to make the journey back to Ohio. While I was hoping for an unforgettable adventure this semester, I could have never predicted how many unbelievable places I would travel to, the wonderful friends I would make and how much I would learn about myself and the world. Although I didn’t realize it while I was in Europe, I am now slowly realizing with each passing day how my perspective on things has changed. Who knew that in five short months you could learn so much?
One of the things I realized while I was away is that where you are doesn’t matter quite as much as who you are with. While I got the opportunity to travel to some of the most amazing places in the world, I found myself wishing I could share every incredible moment with my family. I wished mom was with me to aimlessly walk through the breathtaking tulip fields in Holland, my sisters could see the Eiffel Tower sparkle, my brother could experience the insane crowds cheering during European “football” games, dad could hike to the top of the volcano in beautiful Santorini, and grandma could enjoy a cannoli with me while strolling the streets of Sicily, where her parents came from. Family means everything to me and the past five months made me realize even more how truly blessed I am to have them in my life.
What I looked forward to most upon arriving in the United States:
- Seeing my family (a hug from mom was my first priority after landing)
- DRIVING (finally getting to go exactly where I want, when I want, without worry of delays, strikes or cancellations)
- Getting back into the Sunday morning church & brunch routine
- Hot dog shop (two chili cheese dogs and a chocolate shake please!)
- Summer (warm weather, fun concerts, ice cream runs with Laur, and the list goes on…)
What will I miss most about Europe?
- The relaxed, slow-paced, “let life happen” atmosphere
- The ability to spontaneously hop on a plane to another country
- Nutella gelato waffles & spaghetti with fresh tomatoes and basil
- The un-replicable views of the Italian countryside
- The cute, flower potted, colored-door side streets in Italy
I know I will be craving another adventure, feeling the urge to travel the world, soon enough, but for now I am so happy to be back at home sweet home.