Personal update: Is it too late now to say sorry?
May 31, 2016
So I know what you are thinking.
And I am thinking it too! It has been a while, in fact, it has been five months since I have checked in. What can I say? I feel guilty of course, extremely guilty. I promised myself that my abroad experience would be the perfect time to pay close attention to my writing. However, nothing could have prepared me for the four months in Siena I was about to have. Looking back, I set pretty unrealistic expectations for myself; updating after every incredible experience, weekend trip, delicious meal or fine wine would have not only been exhausting, but impossible. Not to sound like a complete ass, but with each day, Italy revealed something beautiful, new, exciting, and interesting to me. Each day I felt inspired, yet each day I held off from sitting down at the computer to document my experiences.
Here’s why you haven’t heard from me in a while; no excuses, just my word.
In a country in which procrastination is part of the lifestyle; relaxation is highly regarded, and time is a treasure rather than money, I couldn’t help but be completely influenced. I have always taken the “productivity is key” approach to life, you know, like that annoying person with the constant “go, go, go” mentality. I always shamed myself for sitting around and doing nothing during vacation times. But in these past four months, all of that was erased. I had very little immediate responsibilities, nobody was relying on me for anything but what wine we would be drinking with dinner, and I was left alone do whatever it was I wanted to do.
And damn, that is just what I did!
So instead of spending my time in my room staring at a computer screen and cursing at the Wifi for being insufferably slow, I spent it elsewhere, with others, in new places. I made a conscious effort everyday to try and do something, not necessarily productive, but enjoyable.
But for anyone who has been abroad, you know that the pressure to always be out and exploring something new can be exhausting. My advice for this? Shut your mind up. Do not tell yourself this is the last time you’ll ever be in an exciting place with new people. Do not tell yourself that you have to visit three cities in two different countries in three days by bus just to say you did something new. (I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing it, trust me!) Do not put pressure on yourself. Just allow yourself to find your own adventures at your own pace, and learn to make the most of each experience by enjoying even the most insignificant of things.
Being abroad is an experience enough, just don’t waste the time worrying.
And considering worrying is a foreign concept to Italians, you can imagine that I wasted very little time doing just that!
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, why I totally didn’t keep up with my blog that I was so meticulous and overzealous about five months ago.
I didn’t keep it up because for once in my life I unplugged, I experienced instead of reading about experience; I did things instead of just watching things. This may sound like a complete excuse for laziness, but it is not. Instead, I kept a journal. I took thousands of pictures to the point where I have no memory space on any of my devices (especially since I am stubborn and refuse to use the ICloud because I still don’t really know what it is.) I made videos of my friends, and most of all, I kept each potential blog post in my head, and they are all stuck in there dying to come out.
Now, I finally have the time to update, write, and share this experience. And as I promised, this blog is not just a “look at me abroad!” blog, it is a compilation of stories and experiences unique to my time here, and hopefully they will help inspire other students or travelers to seek the same joys as I have.
But there will also be times where I am just going to share goofy things that will probably make you laugh and question my intelligence.
Anyway, I still really don’t know how to end these, so for now… I guess I’ll just leave you with some italian.
Ci sentiamo dopo!
(We will hear from each other soon!)