An Open Letter To My Pre-Study Abroad Self

Dear Krystal from a month ago,

Can you believe that you have lived in Florence for almost a month already? You have literally been planning this semester since December of last year. You formed the dream in your heart years ago, and today you are thriving here.

Isn’t it funny how life always finds a way to work itself out? Before coming here, you felt unsure about the decision to move across the world for almost four months instead of moving back to something you knew and were comfortable with. You had anxieties watching friends move back to school two weeks before you could leave. Italy was a gray area with no previous experience to base ideas on. You couldn’t imagine not being an hour and a half away from home let alone in a different time zone.

Again, life tends to work itself out, and now, more than ever, you are loving this life. IMG_6715With the help of your family, friends, and a whole lot of prayer, you settled in quite quickly. Isn’t it crazy how you started with nothing; no prior experience of places or food or culture, and now you are completely immersed in all of it every single day.

Just think about the first time you felt at home in this foreign city; when you saw the Duomo. You and your new roommates were trying to find an orientation building when you all of a sudden ran into it. How could you not have noticed the huge reddish-orange dome took up your whole view? You couldn’t help but fall in love with the city right then and there. You even make a point to see your Duomo once a day. It is hard to imagine that you once lived your life without this jewel.

Now the people. You have met people from all walks of life, different cultures and religions, and from numerous cities and countries. You have become close with strangers from class, and now you can’t imagine your life without them. Meeting people and hanging out with people who have the same travel bug as you have immensely motivated you to take a different street just because.


Now that you know your surroundings, your favorite places to sip coffee, most delicious gelato places, and the best views of your coveted Duomo, enjoy every last second of it. Aside from learning about this place you are learning about yourself. Learning about a new culture while trying to take classes has given you a new sense of self and placement in this world. Don’t forget that breathless feeling. You are so blessed to be able to call this life yours. Don’t forget to live each day to the fullest, and to soak up every ray of sunshine.


Krystal, With a “K”


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