Winter blues and post abroad heartache are in full affect. The below freezing temperatures and snowy weather conditions are making me wish I was in Rome where the weather is sunny and in the 60s. Since I’m here for the time being, I wanted to write about my top experiences in certain places, which will help me get through the post-abroad depression phase.
One of the coolest things about Rome was living just a few blocks away from The Vatican, the holiest place in the entire world in the Catholic Church and I could see it every single day. I had the opportunity of going to a mass held in St. Peter’s Square where Pope Francis drives around waving to people in the audience, while surrounded by 10 security guards, and speaks to over 20,000 people. It was such an amazing experience. When I went with my friend, it was still dark when we got our seats and we watched while the sun rose and lit up the St. Peter’s Basilica. Listening to the mix of languages as you sit and admire the Pope, was an experience I’ll never forget.
I went to Malta to visit Angele Schembri, who studied abroad at Clarion last year. Out of all the countries I visited, Malta was my favorite. It was a mix of what you would picture Greece to be like with the crystal blue waters, but it also had a really unique terrain. One of my favorite days there was my first one where we explored the capital Valletta, and went on a boat ride to explore blue grottos. As we were riding through the crystal blue waters, I couldn’t help but ask myself how did I get this lucky to be in such a beautiful place reconnecting with a Clarion friend?
Prague, Czech Republic
I went to Prague the weekend after Malta, and I honestly wasn’t sure if anything would top it. It was such a cool city with tons of history and a real gothic type feel. My favorite place spent there was at the John Lennon wall. My family has a reunion every year in Philadelphia, and one of our big events is singing ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon. So to be able to see the John Lennon wall in person was a huge bucket list item for me. We spent hours there writing on the wall and taking pictures.
My program provided a one-night stay in Florence, and the city was so beautiful. It’s quintessential Italy, terracotta roofs, mopeds, zipping throughout the streets and the amazing Tuscan hills. My favorite part about Florence was riding mopeds throughout the green fields and vineyards. I felt like Lizzie McGuire, living the Italian dream. The sun felt amazing and the sights were breath taking. I will never forget what it felt like to be somewhere so beautiful, doing something that most people will never get the chance of doing.
It’s been difficult adjusting to being back in Clarion. I find myself looking through old pictures, watching videos, and reading through study abroad blogs instead of writing a paper for class. For now the only thing I can do is reminisce, talk to my friends who I studied with, and reminisce. However, I can’t express how nice it’s been to be back with my family and friends who I’ve missed so much while being away. It kind-of evens out, for now at least!