Since my last post, a few things have happened: I have begun packing (then unpacking and packing again), my Slovak has improved ever so slightly, I have vacated my bedroom (now sleeping on a mattress on the floor of my sisters room), and a stranger has moved into my house. This stranger’s name is Anna and she’s not so much of a stranger anymore. Coming from Northern Italy to Florida on an exchange, Anna is my replacement—I mean host sister. What a contrast: snow, mountains, and valleys one day, and sunburn, sweat, and red tide the next—she’s practically living in a vacationer’s paradise!

Goodbye Florida

I joke now, but thinking about leaving Florida is beginning to become a little nostalgic. In my last few weeks here I have tried focusing more on the small things about Florida that I usually take for granted. Whether that be the familiar sights of sunsets and palm trees or the comforting sounds of crashing waves and 3AM thunderstorms, there is much more to miss about Florida than I thought.

Though it’s ridiculously hot and full of tourists year-round, this quaint beach-town has given me great memories to look back on and even greater friends to come back to—many of which who have already left for college. Let’s just say by now I think I’ve mastered how to say goodbye. With less than one week remaining and only a few goodbyes left to give, my “Before Leaving” to-do list is filling with ✓-marks: Watch the sunset ✓  Eat a hotdog ✓ Buy a journal ✓ Finish packing _

Finish packing

Well, I’m still working on that one. I’m not quite sure how to pack a year’s worth of clothes in one suitcase or how exactly I’m supposed to “bring winter clothes” when Florida doesn’t even have a winter. I haven’t even gotten to Slovakia yet and I’ve already accepted the fact that I’m going to freeze. Anna says that her winter coat back in Italy is 2x thicker than the thickest sweater I have packed…great.

Nervous? Not yet…

Everyone keeps asking me if I’m nervous, but no, not yet. I’m sure the feeling will catch up to me sooner or later, but for now, the year-long wait has built up nothing but excitement and anticipation. Since Anna arrived about two weeks ago, I have become even more anxious to FINALLY finish packing and prepare for my flights, especially as I see my exchange-friends depart for their different host countries. Until that day comes for me, I’ll just be making the most of my Floridian life with my family and new Italian sis’ while I still can! 5 days to go!

*Referring to title:   “ciao” = “hello” in Italian     “čau” = “goodbye” in Slovak*


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