Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More Introductions

Hello everyone, my name is Kevin Christie. I’m a Binghamton University student studying abroad in Florence. As a history major specializing in the Italian Renaissance, going to Florence was kind of a no-brainer for me. Aside from history, one of my other major interests is cooking. Coming from an Italian family, I’ve been cooking my entire life. So much so that I even considered culinary school before going to a state university. I wanted to see what kind of life I skipped out on.

So I decided to take classes that I was interested in: Renaissance classes and culinary classes – I figured it would be the perfect mix for Florence.

I’ve been living in Florence for about 3 weeks and I think these past 3 weeks have been and will be the most extreme 3 weeks for the entire study abroad program. What I mean is it will probably be the most exciting, the most stressful, and most interesting part of the entire study abroad program. And I think the rest of the students will agree with me.It’s a bit hectic because after about three weeks you start to become a part of the city. And the city becomes a part of you. You’re no longer getting lost and maps start to become a thing that tourists use. The twisting streets of Florence, though initially confusing and kind of ridiculous, start to make sense. And you start to sink your feet in the culture that you still don’t really understand.

That’s what’s happening to me.

The initial transition stage for the first part of the trip wasn’t difficult. Probably because living in Florence didn’t really hit me until about a week later. I was both really excited to finally be in Florence, after years of waiting, and just trying to adjust myself to the area around me. But afterwards, homesickness hit me hard.

I consider myself a fairly independent person, so I was surprised to feel as homesick as I did. I was, initially, so excited to be in Florence that I kind of blinded myself to homesickness.

But after a week, especially since I didn’t have access to the internet and Facebook yet, I started to really miss my friends. I thought to myself, “What am I doing here? I’m missing out on everything back at Binghamton.” I even got a little mad at the culture and the city itself. But as I started to familiarize myself with the city and make new friends, I started to accept that I was going to be here until mid-May. So I may as well enjoy it.

I started to dive into the city’s mysteries. I love to walk around and explore. For those of you who consider yourselves urban explorers, this city really has a lot to offer. There are tons of hidden secrets and treasures that are easily passed by. So I started walking around without a map so I could absorb the city better, without having a definitive goal in mind. Just looking for whatever it is that makes this city so special. And I got lost a lot. But it paid off. Aside from getting me a few adventures, exploring Florence helped me to be more confident and familiar with the city. It became much easier to call this place home.

And now I find myself sinking deeper into the Italian culture and the magic of this city. Every day, I uncover a new secret about the city and the more I learn, the more I appreciate this place.

I’ll post back later about some of the cool things that I find in Florence. I’ll take pictures too!

Anyway thanks for reading my story so far, and I’ve got some pretty intersting ones about to come. So I’ll keep you all posted. And thanks to Kelsey for sharing her blog with me! J



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