What is the abroad experience? What does it truly mean to live in another culture and try to establish normalcy? This is the question that has been on my mind lately. It has been almost a month since coming to Rome. While walking through the Borghese gardens I couldn’t help wondering, “What is my abroad experience?”
The thing that no one ever really prepares you for during the abroad experience, is the independence. Being abroad pushes you in so many ways. It is probably the first time in my 20 year life that I have realized that my life is my own.
Deciding and creating a life of your own can be one of the craziest and scariest time. Suddenly, your world is no longer what you thought it was. You realize that people are actually a lot more complicated than they usually appear. You realize that you are not the only one struggling, yet no one can carry the burdens that you hold you down.
When you go abroad, you are vulnerable. You are scared and sometimes a little lonely. Sometimes it will suck and then sometimes it will be the best thing that ever happened to you. But, after being here for a month slowly what I want my experience to be is taking shape. I want to learn how to let go of a past and become the kind of woman I want to be. Being here in Rome has definitely taught me that you never truly let go of the past, you simply just don’t let it define you. In an odd way, in a city that is defined by its’ past, I am learning to let go of mine.