Photography by Brianne Lee

Photography by Brianne Lee

A Place I Can Reside

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

When visualizing my trip abroad before I left, I pictured myself exploring the city by day and vigorously blogging every single night about every last minute detail of my experience living in the heart of Italy. I even tried to begin on my first night. I sat down on my bed in my new apartment after over 19 hours of travel and my brain felt so overloaded with new information that I couldn’t even begin to fathom the idea of putting my experience into a single sentence.

I now realize my error. One day is not enough time to put into words the aged, complex, bustling, soulful city that is Florence. One week is not enough. Four months may not even be enough, but I feel as if I’ve explored Florence enough now to both feel lost in its foreign ways and also somewhat at home here. But how could I ever explain it?

In true Florentine fashion, I need to be expressive. And indeed, Florence is such an expressive city, a city full of passion, life and zest. What else could be said for the part of the world that gave us so much art and influence on culture? The people are loud and full of life. Florence is passion. Personality practically drips from the city.

My roommates and I have been parading through the city endlessly. As a result, I now feel a little more comfortable here, and I finally feel less like a visitor and more as if this is a place I can reside, and its only my second week. I guess there is a reason why Florence is a city that people fall in love with. It has wonders of the world that people fall over themselves to see and it welcomes you like an old friend.

I’ve learned that the best way to get more comfortable with living in a new place is to go out, sometimes alone, and just wander, get a little lost. It’s not like I could ever get bored here. There are tiny little shops and bars (bar means espresso bar here – a place you’d get a coffee drink) to duck into, locally owned boutiques and artists selling their work on the edges of the cobbled road. I know it might take me a while to blend in and start truly living as a Florentine, but hey! It’s only my second week.

I keep reminding myself; my Italian persona is not perfect yet, and that’s okay. I still fumble asking the checkout lady or barista “Quanto?” when I’m buying groceries or purchasing coffee, and I don’t have my route to school memorized yet. I sometimes see a local with a dog or a family with children and my stomach twists as I long for my own family and my own dog. But there is one thing I know for sure…this is an adventure. This is an adventure that is all my own. I’ve lived at home or close to home for my entire life, and I’ve never done anything remotely like this before. It is time to learn, to explore, to get lost in Europe and become an Italian!

And if there is one thing I’ve learned for absolute certain, it’s that when I walk around Florence and see the beautiful window boxes spilling with flowers, or when I walk across the Ponte Vecchio every day to school and see the breathtaking river before me, or when I turn the corner a stumble upon the Duomo, a famous statue or piazza, is that I know I’ve never been in a more beautiful or interesting place in my whole life.


  1. Loooooove your blog! You are a wonderful photographer and writer! I am a friend of Meghan's! I lived in Germany for 3 months, and I am headed back for one year starting in July! Living abroad is unexplainable to those who have never been away from home for longer than a few weeks! I hope you both have an amazing time! I am excited to read more! :)
    -Julia Kensok

    1. Aww, thank you so much for your kind words! I am so excited to continue my adventure here. Its crazy how I have only been here for a week and already it feels like home. That is such a great opportunity for you be back abroad for a year! Very excited for you.

  2. Lovey pictures!!!!


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