Blog #3 – Fear!

12-02-2019 17:02

Ciao! After a long, and rather uncomfortable bus ride, I have made it back to Florence! Interlaken, Switzerland was amazing. I snowshoed, what seemed like miles, up the Swiss Alps, huffing and puffing the whole way up, half debating just giving up and log rolling myself down the mountain. But to my surprise, I never actually lunged myself off of the mountain and made it to the top, which was well worth the unexpected workout I got in! Words do not even express how amazing the views were, so I will leave you with the picture below! I also strolled along the crystal clear waters of the beautiful Lake Brienz, and made my own chocolate! It was definitely a great trip, that I highly recommend!

The Swiss Alps!

Today, I am sitting in yet another cute café called “Vivaldi”, eating a delicious gelato, and again, pondering what to write my blog on. While thinking about that, I remembered how I get to see my cousin this weekend in Amsterdam! And then, I started thinking about the trip I just planned to go to Barcelona to see my cousins yet again and two of my neighbors! I am really excited for the weeks to come!

cousin/travel buddy/best friend

I guess if you already couldn’t tell from above, I am such a family, friend and home person. I come from a neighborhood, in which most of my family only lives a decently short car ride away, and which all of my neighbors, feel like family to me! We are a very tight knit community and home has always been such a special place to me.

My family! And yes, I am the oldest but shortest, urgggg…

In class this week, we had to read an article called “Urban Landscape History”, by Dolores Hayden. She quoted “People make attachments to places that are critical to their well-being or distress.” The article also talked about “place attachment” which was described as a “psychological process similar to an infant’s attachment to parental figures.” The article suggests too that “place attachment can develop social, material, and ideological dimensions, as individuals develop ties to kin and community, own or rent land, and participate in public life as residents in a particular community.”

After reading this not once, but twice, I was struck with how accurately it described my attachment to my own home and community that lives around me. My home and town on Long Island has always been my “place”. And I think because of this, I am always a bit fearful and sad to leave. When booking my arrival and departure flights to Florence, I had a moment of panic, realizing this would be the longest time I have ever left my “place” for. My parents would joke with me about how ridiculous I sounded last minute complaining that I actually didn’t want to leave home and how maybe, just maybe, I would rather stay at home than go to Florence. My dad would also always joke with me and say “okay you can trade places with me and commute into Manhattan every day and I will go to Florence for four months instead”.  And yes, I guess I did seem quite ridiculous, getting cold feet right before coming to the beautiful, romantic, historical, magical city of Florence, but to me Florence wasn’t my “place” yet and I was scared.

I also had a tough time wrapping my head around leaving her behind!

My girl Queenie

But, after being here for, what is it now, three weeks I think, maybe four, who knows, I can say that my feelings of fear have gone away. I am slowly, but surely becoming attached to this wonderful gem of a city. The sights, sounds, smells, and tastes, oh the wonderful tastes of paninis and bruschetta, have become very special to me, and something I think I can get used to treasuring in my heart. I have made some new friends too, which has helped me love this city even more.

Long Island, New York will always be my “place”, but I do think and hope that Florence, Italy will be in close competition to gain another special “place” in my heart!

You can catch me admiring artwork in the Van Gogh Museum and touring the Ann Frank house this weekend in Amsterdam! Who knows, maybe that will become my “place” too.

See you next week!