What a bittersweet feeling it was packing up all of my belongings to head back to the US this week. Who would've thought I would grow to love Verona as much as I do? Admittedly, back in October my feelings weren't quite the same, but over the last three months I truly opened my eyes and heart to embrace my new home. I made amazing friends, and met a lot of great people. Most of the time a language barrier lingered, but the message of a few kisses on your cheek and a warm hug was always easily translated!
Italy was such a great experience and I wouldn't have changed a thing about it, but truly it was hard at times. I don’t want this to be a platform where I sugar coat my life and try to make it seem that this traveling-the-world gig is always a glamorous luxury, because there are definitely moments where that is the last way I would describe it. Besides Taylor, google translate was my right-hand man. There would be times when I was at the store practically playing charades trying to ask a simple question. Now granted, I understand it’s my own fault for not putting more effort into learning the language, but trying to roll your “R’s” with that Italian grace makes you realize just how American you really are. The 8 hour time difference wasn’t particularly easy either. Both of my parents work so by the time they were off the clock, it was 2 AM over on my side of the world and I was fast asleep. The hardest obstacle I faced though was having to deal with being alone a lot. Obviously, Taylor would have to travel for away games, and they weren't always close enough to drive to, so that left me with a whole lotta time to myself. No other wives or girlfriends were living in Verona, so my friend group was a solid party of 1 when Tay was away. Thankfully, the other girls would come visit pretty often, so it was always a treat to spend time with them and get to know each other.
Despite all of the challenging aspects, there were so many great things that I took away with me. I met so many amazing people, and made great friends. The BluVolley community became like a second family and I am so grateful for everyones love and acceptance. I grew so much and became a stronger and better version of myself. To those considering living abroad, take the chance. Make that leap. I promise you will become better acquainted with yourself, and the cultures and atmospheres you will find yourself in are absolutely priceless.
I still have many more years of this international lifestyle ahead of me, but Italy has really set the bar high.
P.S. If you have questions about our lifestyle, what we do, or anything else, please ask! It's not always easy to know what people want to hear about! I'm actually embarrassed that I am just now figuring out how to enable comments on my posts, so ask away!