I can't really explain the timing of this journey. Some students who travel abroad would say that it seemed like ages since they last slept in their beds at home, some would say it has not been long enough and they don't want to touch American soil anytime soon. As for me, I am having a hard time wrapping my head around three months of solid education and discovery. I feel like it was yesterday that I was lying in my bed at home, sick with bronchitis the days before my departure to Italy. All of the excitement about this journey coupled with the nervousness of my first big trip away from my comfortable life. (A little irony of it is that my mother also had bronchitis when she set out on her first trip to Italy; turns out, maybe history repeating itself was a good omen.)
As I sit here in my room in Brescia, clicking away, pondering my last blog, I am full of emotion. I feel over-joyed to have met some of the greatest people on this trip. Loving, generous family, enriched my last two weekends with a sense of connection to personal history. I am blessed to have connected with a charismatic, kind, fun-loving group of people for the last three weeks at my externship, Pasticceria Bosco and I feel like I have known them my whole life. The owners are lifelong friends who connected years ago to work in the bakery. Not only was I fortunate enough to work there and to produce northern Italian pastry such as columba, Venetian brioche, fiame, pane di Spagna, chantilly and Brescian cannucini, I dined with them most evenings as well. They are the epitome of knowing what is truly important in life as they sit for hours enjoying each other's company while eating pasta or risotto from Florium in the center of Brescia, or "all you can eat" Japanese food from a local restaurant.
I think I can look beyond food for a moment. Yes, this trip was entirely devoted to food and I am amazed by the regional cuisine, right down to the smallest village of a single town in a vast country side of a region, but there are other things to be said too. The people we connect with in our lives are there for a reason. They come, they go or they stay, but forever they will be a part of a lifetime and of who we become as individuals. Traveling, being uncomfortable, exhausted and maneuvering a tremendous learning curve opened a world of knowledge and friendships for me here in Italy.
The cliche "saving the best for last" fits right here.
shall the future hold a fortunate return...