Tomorrow, I’m heading back to the beginning.
Tomorrow, my sister and I are heading back to Italy for a week vacation – her first trip and my second.
To say that I am emotional is a complete understatement.
My four-month study abroad was everything.
It was the first time I lived by myself.
It was the first time I cooked for myself.
It was the first time I attempted to balance school and life.
It was the first time I allowed my passion for food and cooking to take center stage.
It was the first time I truly took a step back and opened myself up to every opportunity that passed me by.
My 111 days in Italy was a truly transforming experience. I fearlessly dove into everything – my classes, chattering with the local artisans and farmers (in VERY poor Italian, no less), cooking meals for myself and my roommates, and the world around me.
I walked to the market every morning, stocking up on fresh groceries for the week. I took long afternoon strolls, marveling at the architecture. I ate gelato on the Ponte Vecchio and watched the sun set. I shed my walls/insecurities and LIVED.
It was a truly awesome experience, and one that I will never forget.
And now my sister will get a glimpse into a place that has so greatly impacted my life. She will see the restaurant where they make homemade balsamic vinegar and focaccia that are served family style. She will see the four-story walk-up that was the birthplace of my very first blog. She will see the bridge in Venice where my friends and I serenaded a couple getting a gondola ride. She will see art so breathtaking that it makes you cry. She will see the streets where I lost my heart, gained my confidence, and started down the road to being the dietitian.
I cannot wait for her to see the beginning.
The place where this all started.
The place that inspired the career change. The blog. The life.