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The Return to America

August 6, 2018

After almost ten weeks of being in Europe, I am back home in the United States. However, it feels as if time has been at a stand still because now that I'm back it feels like I never left. As good as it is to be back in America and the comfort of being back in my home, I miss Rome and the rest of Europe so much.

After the eight weeks of my summer program came to a dreadful end, I flew to the Netherlands to meet my parents and then to Ireland to meet my siblings for an extended Euro trip. In ten days, we traveled to Amsterdam, Dublin, Edinburgh, and lastly London. In ten short days, I was fortunate enough to uncover more of Europe that was still to be seen. But when it was all said and done, and the day of our final departure approached, it could not have been any harder to leave Europe. I struggled as I tried to pack all of my memories and belongings into a suitcase without going over the weight limit. As I was boarding the plane in England's Gatwick Airport, I was excited to get back home to Chicago but more importantly, I felt like I wasn't completely saying goodbye to Europe.

A week or so earlier when I was leaving Rome, I made it mission to come back to Europe again...or maybe like five more times. Whether it is after graduation with friends, or for a business trip in the future, I will be back. The super eager and ambitious part in me wants to even live somewhere in Europe for a year at some point in my life. I fell so in love with the places and memories I had all over Europe that it would be too hard NOT to go back. And now that I'm back home in the full swing of things again, I know that I will return to Europe. I hope I can make it back to Rome and walk down Borgo Pio again and show off my apartment to the people that I'm with, then eventually bombard our Rome roommate groupchat with our fond memories of the place.

This summer has been the fastest summer of my entire life, but absolutely the best by far. I'm sobbing on the inside just thinking about what I was doing a month ago in Italy and what type of pasta I was consuming. All in all, I would not trade anything in the world for the experience that I had this summer in Rome through my IES Summer Internship program. I have pushed myself to do something so foreign (literally and figuratively) to go abroad on my own for a summer and I hope more people continue to take part in this once in a lifetime experience.

It feels good to be back home but Rome will always have such a special spot in my heart. GRAZIE MILLE!

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