And just like that, my career as an English teacher in Italy has come to an end. What an unbelievably amazing experience it has been.
My original plan was to live in Italy for 9 months, and here I am a year and a half later thinking “Why not stay some more?”
… The reality is that I will never not want to live in Italy. The stunning architecture, picturesque streets and hidden alleyways, pastel colors, unmatched culture and history, delicious food, the people… everything. (Okay, so maybe the people aren’t always great, but they grew on me!)
Anyways, you get the idea. I’m obsessed with the place.
One of the things I valued most while living in Italy was the accessibility. Europe is well-connected in a way that makes American travel addicts envious. I traveled within or out of the country nearly every weekend thanks to budget airlines and high-speed trains.
And let’s not forget – The late night motorbike rides! Most Italian guys are more than willing to take an American girl for a thrilling ride through Roma on the back of their bike or vespa. What a blast. I’m going to miss those a lot.
Jokes aside, besides the incredible friends I made, what I’m truly going to miss the most about Rome is the way it made me feel. In my last few days, I had an emotional conversation with one of my closest friends, Sophie: “Sophie, I know that I’m going to go back to America, get back into the routine of things, and look back on my time in Rome as a distant memory… almost like a past life, or a dream that may or may not have ever happened. It breaks my heart to think about it. Living here has made me feel so alive, I’m genuinely happy… I’m so damn happy all the time! I feel like I’m the best version of myself when I’m here, and that’s what I’m devastated to lose.”
After a few quiet moments, Sophie replied, “Well then I’m so grateful that I got to experience the best version of Alyssa.”
… Oh Dio. All the tears.