The word ‘home’ once seemed like a safe haven, the spot where we grew up and our parents now reside…but the closer my return flight came, the more daunting the word ‘home’ seemed. Home is a funny term because we all created new ‘homes’ in all of our foreign study abroad countries. Do people have more than one home? Is home where you were born, where you grew up or where you feel the most comfortable? I don’t think ‘home’ is very applicable to where I am in life. The term home for me is technically Hampden, Massachusetts… but when I look further… my heart tells me that home is Firenze, Italy.
Taking a full step back, the saying ‘home is where your heart is’ is scarily accurate. When I was younger, home was with my parents. When I had begun college, home was at Quinnipiac. When I began studying abroad, home was in Firenze. I find that each part of these different ‘homes’ offer me loads of new opportunity. At Quinnipiac subconsciously I would find myself referring to my dorm room as ‘home’ when we all can agree that dorm rooms don’t offer the same things our first homes do. Studying abroad was different…maybe because Florence DID offer me the same things that my first home provided me with. I was able to grow and explore, I had two great friends living in the same house as me, and I was able to still communicate with family to stay a little bit up to date. Right now, my heart is in Firenze but in a few years my heart will be with a new apartment in a different city or maybe even back to the country side. The feeling of happiness is ‘home’… so for right now, Florence is where I belong.
The concept of reincorporation seemed a little odd to me when I was first departed for my trip. I figured that going abroad and coming home would both have smooth transitions. I thought I would be able to appreciate the opportunities I was given but then quickly continue to move forward in my life, but I now understand why this last phase can be challenging. I realized that I found flaws in American society, flaws in my family and friends because it seemed as though they were both very narrow minded. I found myself less contempt with the life I was returning to when I thought I would be much more appreciative. For these reasons, reincorporation is a much more crucial part of returning to life here in the states than I once thought it would be.
After writing and presenting my reincorporation letter to my dad, I found that it was a perfect way to get myself back on track. The reincorporation letter brought my mindset back to America and helped me realize that there are a lot of things to appreciate here in the states. The quote I chose to include in my letter was “It’s better to look back on life and say: ‘I can’t believe I did that’ than to look back and say ‘I wish I did that’”. I decided to include this specific quote because it’s a simple life motto that I tend to make decisions by. When I decided to study abroad I wanted a change of pace, an eye opener and experience I would never forget. After talking to a few dozen people who regretted not studying abroad in college, I knew I had to make the jump. Studying abroad was a great adventure, one that I know I’ll be able to look back on and say “I can’t believe I did that”.