My last weekend abroad ended with me traveling by myself on a train to Pisa that Friday, on a train to Venice on Saturday with a group of fellow students, and by bus and train to Cinque Terre with a cheap tour guide group. I snapped a lot of pictures, got soaked to the bone standing in the rain waiting for a gondola ride in Venice, and hiked from the town of Vernazza to Monterosso al Mare.
In Vernazza I “cliff jumped” off a small rock into the Italian sea and befriended five girls from Florida who were also studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Together, four of us hiked up steep mountain cliffs under the Ligurian sun and swam in Monterosso’s salty ocean for hours before traveling back to Florence.
That night, before I walked back to my apartment on Via Ghibellini, I felt sad leaving my new friends behind. I knew when I got back to the apartment that I would have to finish packing and leave on a plane to Los Angeles. I walked slowly, shuffling my feet as I past near the school where we watched and created films and documentaries, past favorite gelato shops and cafes, and by beautiful street dancers near the Duomo.
The next morning was even more difficult to grab my bags and leave the beautiful country I called home for a month. My roommates and I walked around the Fume Arno for the final time as the sun rose from behind the bridge and sighed at the city that was still, and not quite awake with all of its hustling tourists.
I landed later that day in Los Angeles and was greeted by family waiting to pick me up and take my bags. They seemed happy to see the wandering traveler who had spent the majority of the summer so far studying abroad, and I was happy to see them. However, I knew that I would miss traveling around Europe with my passport in hand and my bag in the other.