Arrivederci, arrivederla, ciao, ci vediamo, a dopo.
Saying goodbye in Italian can be phrased in various ways, some more formal than others, but each having the same, general meaning. I’ve recently realized that, while studying abroad has opened a vast amount of new doors to me, it also entails a number of goodbyes. Viterbo has been a whirlwind of breathtaking adventures thus far and each one has left me even more excited for the next. However, every once in a while, you stop and take a breath. Even though meeting new people, exploring new places, and trying new things is exhilarating in the most fantastic way, every so often, you catch yourself missing old things, the things you had to say goodbye too.
I wouldn’t call it being homesick, but there is a small amount of heartache that comes with saying goodbye and moving on to different ventures. Some goodbyes are harder than others because they are more final and you are reluctant to let go of certain things. Yes, we all love the thrill of exciting escapades but the comfort of the familiar is always there in the back of our minds. However, we are reassured by the knowledge that this comfort awaits us back home and will be there when we return. It is hardest when we learn that a part of our familiar life will not be there upon our arrival home. Saying goodbye is never easy, but it is as much a part of life as saying hello is.
Every weekend we say farewell to our charming Viterbo and embark on the journey to our next destination. But a few days later, we return and are greeted by what is slowly becoming our familiar home on this side of the world. The wall enclosing our medieval city looms above us as we make our way from the Porta Romana train station to the comfort of our homes. And as time passes, and we live here longer and longer, it seems to become more homelike and memorable; a place we will miss when the time comes for us to say farewell. Nevertheless, there are somethings from home that I find myself missing dearly. The people, the mountains, my dog and cat, the snow (only on occasion), my mom’s homemade chicken pot pie, these are all things that make me sigh a little, knowing they are so far away. In these moments, when I catch myself missing the familiar parts of my life back home, I am so incredibly grateful for the little things that are becoming familiar here in Viterbo and for the extraordinary adventures I get to experience while I live here.
Lauren Graziano è una studentessa americana USAC che studia all’Università della Tuscia per il primo semestre di questo anno scolastico. E’ cresciuta alle Hawaii, ma ora vive in Colorado e studia in una università nello Iowa, dove ritornerà il prossimo autunno, dopo il suo semestre a Viterbo. Ama viaggiare, leggere, scrivere e uscire fuori, sia che si tratti di escursioni, sci, nuoto o altre divertenti attività all’aperto.