Train tracks, gondola floats, taxi rides, bus trips, long walks. Our time here in Italy has been packed full of these ‘in-between’ moments. The best thing about studying abroad so far is not just the places we have been, but the journey there. Looking back on all the places we have made our way to this semester; I also begin to think about how we got there. Sure, traveling throughout Italy’s hills, valleys, mountains, and beaches is an absolute dream, but you got to your destination somehow. And while waking up at five in the morning to sit on a bus or train for three hours might not sound like the most exhilarating experience, it’s in these moments where I have surprisingly found myself the most content.
The unique thing about Italy is that there is beauty everywhere you look, no matter where you look. Whether it be rolling green hills covered in vineyards, mountains puncturing the skyline with white snow caps, or even just a small village full of life and love and people. All I have to do is look out and take it in. Soak up every second that I can. Understand the importance of enjoying the present, the ‘in-between’. Because even though I may not be sipping on Tuscan wine or pulling my own mozzarella cheese, I can appreciate the beauty of the stillness around me.
So, while I am eternally grateful for all the experience and opportunity that this semester has granted me, the most valuable lesson I have learned is simply – look out the window.