I'll start with this: I'm not a writer, I never have been, and I don't pretend to be. However, my friend Nubia has started a 30 Day Writer's Challenge which has led to subsequent blogs from other friends. Reading said blogs has made me want to write, not necessarily to be read, just as a way to vent and possibly cope. So if you choose to read... beware. Deal with the grammar mistakes and the poorly written rants and don't say I didn't warn you.
I spent this summer studying and living in a small Tuscan town in the middle of Italy. Montepulciano, a medieval hill town located centrally between Siena and Florence, both of which have spent centuries fighting for control of Monte. My decision to do study abroad was mainly just a way to break the monotony of going to work and school. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love food, and seeing how I always wanted to go see the Colosseum, Italy was of course the right country for me. I went to talk to a professor from the program before I applied and he sold me on the idea. I now realize just how much I owe to this man.
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what I would encounter on this trip. We're all fed the bullshit in school that you must study abroad, expand your horizons, globalize yourself, "it will change you". Turns out, those are the closed words to truth, I've ever heard. This summer I lived in and traveled around the most beautiful cities, towns, and countrysides that I have ever seen, let alone been in. I've met some of the coolest people of extremely varying backgrounds and interests, both Americans and Italians. I've discovered a renewed passion for food. A renewed passion for friendship. A renewed passion for life.
My sister bought me a book on Italian Culinary before I left. It is appropriately titled "Pasta - Pesto - Passion" (I'll return to this in a later blog). In America we think "French Fries - Hamburgers - Speed", or in other words "Unhealthy - Processed - Laziness". In this way I'm very sad to be American. I feel that our great country completely overlooks the most important parts of life. Life isn't about becoming the CEO of a company, having a big house, driving an unnecessarily large expensive vehicle. Life SHOULD be about enjoyment. Friends, Family, Food... being happy. There are three things Italians cherish; Their mothers, their families, and their food/wine. Living in Montepulciano for almost six weeks, I truly felt as if though I was a part of the Poliziano's family. I had a home in that town in which I found a home in my heart. I know. That last sentence is a complete ball of mush, but by God I mean every word of it. I love that city and the people in it.
My trip to Italy truly has changed the way I see myself and the world. Over the next 30 days I'll use this blog as a metohod of both venting my angers and thoughts and of coping with my post Italian depression/stress. Much more to come.