She left Florence on Friday, there were tears, and laughter and hugs. The new friends she had met were going their own way too. She made a special trip to the API office for one more request, help with getting a taxi at 4am for her trip to the airport. She asked for a picture from the wonderful API advisors that had brought joy, organization and guidance during her time there. Memories were made with people she did not know 34 days ago and she was feeling lucky to have met them and shared this short snippet of her life together. Her social media posts have been a farewell love letter to Italy and it warms my heart to see her happiness and enthusiasm for more travels.
I was given a gift from this experience as well. I saw my youngest child grow into a woman that is acting upon her dreams and planning her next adventure. I found that API as a travel abroad company is a great investment. The money she used did not come from me, it came from her own hard work the previous summer. She included me in discussing her choices around what company to go with, what country to visit, how much time she should spend (a semester vs a summer) and how much will all of this cost. She made the decisions and I am proud of the planning, thinking and choices she made.
My homecoming gift to her was a poem I wrote her and printed on one of my favorite pictures of her in Florence, her apartment in the background. I thought she could hang it in her college apartment this fall to remind her to follow this dream as she fulfills another dream of becoming a nurse. She is happy and that makes me happy too.
Your beauty is your soul
Never lose your love of wandering
There are vast experiences that await you on this blue ball we call home.
Getting to know past and present people who change your mind – about good, evil, beauty and history.
Swirling -Skipping -Twirling -Tripping
The world is yours sweet girl.