italy.

As many of you know, I spent this past month exploring Italy. And now that I’m home, I actually have a little bit of time to write about it before I start back up with work, and being a boring adult. How fun!

I spent three weeks of my time in Torino, Italy. I was studying there with a program called the European Innovation Academy which was a startup accelerator. It was incredibly intensive (10am-8pm every day of the work week), and not exactly what I expected going into it, but I did get some useful information out of it, and I met really cool people from all around the world as well.

Both of the weekends of the program were free to do whatever we wanted, which was really nice and a good break from everything that was going on throughout the week (we all really needed that break, lol).

The first weekend, we slept in (it was needed) and did a bit of exploring around Torino on Saturday. I went to the city center of Turin, which is a beautiful little place that is *supposedly* like Paris (so says people on Google, haha). The city center gave me a better idea of what Torino was because we were staying in a residential area that disappointed me a bit when I arrived.

That Sunday, we went to Milan. Milan is a really cool city, but I’ve been there, and now I can see other places. There’s a lot of incredibly expensive stores that I could never afford, and a really pretty cathedral called the Duomo di Milano.

The second weekend we traveled to Monterosso, which is honestly one of the most beautiful (if not THE most beautiful) places I’ve ever been. It’s part of a group of 5 cities on the sea, called Cinque Terre. For anyone traveling to Italy, this is a MUST visit. Our trip was cut short a day because of a train strike taking place in Italy that weekend, but that gave me more of a reason to go back!

Towards the end of July, my parents came to Italy to spend about a week with me before we all came back. We spent about 9 days in Florence, including a bit of time traveling around through Tuscany and back to Monterosso and also Vernazza because I loved it so much, and I wanted them to see it too.  It was so lovely being able to travel to a new country with them because we had actually never all done that together before.

I’m genuinely so glad I had this week to get to love Italy like I always figured I would. The first three weeks in Italy were honestly a bit disappointing, and I'm not going to sugar coat it. I didn’t get to enjoy Italy, and the program nearly made me resent it a bit, and I was so sad. I guess I had this idea that I would go to Italy and love it immediately like I loved London right away, and I didn’t. I grew to love Italy over the last 9 days that I was there, and I was very thankful for that.

After 31 days of being gone, I arrived home a few days ago after a long 15 hours of travel, and I was SO happy to be home. I still am. I was greeted at the airport by my lovely, lovely boyfriend with flowers, which just reminded me of why I’m so lucky to have him. He's such a good person.

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With all of this being said, spending a bit of time overseas is something that might (or probably will) make you uncomfortable and incredibly homesick at times, but it’s honestly so important when it comes to self-growth, at least that's what I've learned about it. Submerging yourself in a culture and a place that’s unfamiliar teaches you not only so much about the world around you and people who aren’t like you, but also about yourself as a person, and how you deal with certain situations that you're put into.

This last month certainly hasn’t been easy for me, but I’ve enjoyed it in different ways. I’m very excited to see where my next travel adventure takes me, as I'm already itching to see a new place, but until then, I’m ready to enjoy home for a little while.

Ciao, Italy. Here's to a month I’ll never forget. xo, Marissa