Sunday, May 20, 2012

Home Sweet Home

So I’ve made it home, finally settled in, and I wanted to have one more post to wrap up my travels. I’ve already expressed how much I enjoyed this experience. It has definitely been a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I could not be happier that I decided to do it. Orvieto was wonderful; I couldn’t imagine a better town to live in and a better country to study in (especially for architecture). I got to see so much of Italy – every town has something that makes them special and unique compared to every other town. I have already started making a list of places I want to see when I go back… and I WILL go back. It’s only a matter of time.

So to wrap all this up, I’ll stop all the mushy “I love this place” talk and end my blog on a lighter note. I began making a list of things I think Italy/Europe does better than America (and vice versa) that I really noticed. Here are a few of them:

Italy/Europe does better than America:

-Public/Cheap transportation – you can hop on a train and be in a new part of the country within a short amount of time for a small amount of money. And flights are so cheap! I flew to London from Rome for only $25! I will definitely miss this.
-Walkability – thanks to the public transportation and the size of the towns, you can easily get around without needing a car. I didn’t miss driving at all these past 4 months. I loved walking everywhere.
-Being “chill” – everyone here seemed so relaxed. The pace of life was so much slower and not stressful.
-Food and wine in general of course
-Hand-made crafts – this is something I think America is missing out on. People appreciate handmade things, but America has become all about mass production and globalization…so we’re losing this beautiful art.
-Farmers Markets – These were everywhere, not only in Italy, but in Europe in general. It brings people closer together, and let’s face it, the fresh food is better. I will definitely miss the markets.
-Metric System – let’s stop kidding ourselves… the metric system is so much easier. Why do we like to make things hard on ourselves?

Ok… now to things America does better:

-Standing in lines – Most of Europe doesn’t have concept of this… it’s usually a mass of people trying to push their way through a small opening. This was hard to adjust to – just gotta push your way through!
-Staying on schedule – this could be good and bad… but because the pace of life in Italy is much slower, they tend to fall off of schedule. I guess this is the one time that our fast, strenuous pace of life is good.
-Dryers – This may sound silly, but I missed being able to do my laundry in one day… I had to plan ahead and give myself time for the laundry to air dry for a few days. It wasn’t horrible, but sometimes inconvenient.
-Toilet Paper – Yes, Europe does have toilet paper… but it’s very rarely stocked in public bathrooms. We learned to plan for this and carried tissues or our own roll with us at all times.
-Free water/refills – yep… you had to pay for your water. And sometimes wine was cheaper… :S
-Showers you can move in – I missed having a shower I had room to shower in. Our shower in Italy was about 2’x2’… It was hard, but I made it work.

These are just a few of the things off my lists that I missed about America and will miss about Italy. I’ve been home for about a week now, and I’m waiting for the day to come when I decide I’m ready to go back. I’m sure it’s coming up! But for now I’m going to enjoy my time at home and my summer. My next adventures consist of catching up with people, starting my internship and a vacation to New York City! What a great year this has been so far. I feel very lucky to have had all these opportunities presented to me.

Thank you for reading along and following my adventures – I wanted to do this for me, but I’m glad I could share it with others as well. This is where I think it ends!

Until my next travelling adventures…


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