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There are no dirty dishes in the sink and I cannot hear the sound of anyone skyping their pets. The floors are missing their hair clumps and my roommates closet is empty. My shampoo and conditioner are the only items left in the bathroom, my toothbrush the only one near the sink. There is no trash in the can, there are no clean clothes hanging on the drying rack.

Its the first time in 3 1/2 months that the apartment is completely empty. Never have I had this space completely to myself. I’m not sure if I should walk around completely naked, or be suffocated by the silence.
It’s bittersweet, the end to this first leg of the trip. All my friends are leaving and coincidentally (or perhaps not coincidentally) homesickness has just started to kick in.
the crew

the crew

roomies

I am so grateful that my travels are continuing and I actually really enjoy going on trips by myself, but I know that this also means I am about to experience something completely new, alone, for an extended period of time.
The truth is that I have fallen in love with Rome. it’s a city that made me forget the definition of routine. Just over this past couple of weeks here I have had so many odd experiences. Yesterday I caught a baby who was falling out of his mother’s bike, his bike car seat almost slammed into the cement. Then, on the way home from a soccer game my bus grazed the side of a building causing everyone to get off the bus, laugh, and then walk home because the entire side paneling had been ripped off. And, perhaps slightly unrelated to the city itself, was the day one of my roommates left a fork on the floor which I subsequently stepped on; yes it did pierce my skin, yes it did bleed. But maybe the most surprising event was when the Italian man who I had been ignoring somehow found my mother’s email and sent her a message asking if I wanted to go out for drinks. Anyway, the moral of the story is: I have yet to live the same day twice here.
-Got stuck in a protest
stuckinaprotest
Saw the pope and attended mass at the Vatican
sawthepope
AS Roma game before the bus accident
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Public transportation in Rome
wtftransport public transportinrome
Vatican Behind Bars
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Leaving Rome means leaving comfort. It seems that just when I begin to know my way around and really understand a place it’s always time to leave. I have been trying to spend my last few days rushing around seeing all of the last minute things I never got the chance to see or wanted to see just one last time. I really hope that I get the chance to visit Rome again, I think it’s the first city besides home that I have ever truly loved.
Though I have already been living apart from my home for some time now, I think this next segment of my trip will mark the start of a completely new adventure. This trip has been amazing, it has also been regimented and controlled. From now until March I will have no UC accent center to tell me places to eat or give me instructions on how to deal with a new transportation system. I think I will really learn the meaning of independence in this portion of my trip.
After a quick visit to Germany, Netherlands, and the Czech Republic, I will spend the next three months in countries outside the Schengen zone (basically the European union). If I do not immediately vacate the countries in this zone I run the risk of deportation or the cancellation of my second study abroad program which starts in March. Over my time in either Eastern Europe (not part of the Schengen zone) and northern Africa, I will most definitely experience my first white Christmas, I am fully expecting to freeze my ass off. I will most likely be headed to Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and then Morocco. Wish me luck.
Ci vediamo Roma. I will miss you.
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