One of the joys of being in the tiny Hope College community is when you go abroad, chances are you’re going to know someone else who’s abroad. Which, of course, implies the inevitable crossover episode when you get to meet up internationally. It’s on this, my sixth season, episodes 30 through 33, where we finally get a glorious crossover.

I’m lucky enough to have a couple friends abroad right now. My roommate is in Dublin and my boyfriend and other housemate are in London. After a long (though exciting) period apart, my boyfriend came to see me in Rome. 

Luckily for me, Jack had been to Rome before on a family trip and in high school. He was practically a Rome pro. Of course, we had to see certain sites like the Colosseum, mostly out of principle. When in Rome… 

He insisted upon seeing the Trevi Fountain, since his previous coin-throwing, wish-making moments had proved to come true. (For those that don’t know, they say if you throw a coin in the Trevi, it means you’ll come back to Rome, some day, somehow. Also, the Roman mayor donates all the money in the fountain to charity, so why wouldn’t you?) 

Yes, we enjoyed a big Italian meal. Yes, we got all dressed up for the streets of Rome––of course we did. 

No, this isn't the "big Italian meal" in question. But of course we got pizza.
No, this isn’t the “big Italian meal” in question. But of course we got pizza.

But that wasn’t my favorite part of the weekend. Not at all. I would say, despite our exploring and location picture taking, we spent a large margin of our time relaxing, chatting, and watching TV. We watched a couple comedies and giggled the night away, while I mandatorily got him hooked on the best Nutella snack in the world: Italy’s infamous nutella cookie. (Believe me when I tell you that these puppies knock the star cookies out of the water, easily.)

There’s something really comforting about sitting with someone from home that you don’t even realize you miss until… Well, until you do. It was so nice to just sit there, comment on the movie we were watching, and do nothing else but be together. Maybe this is a piece of my lesson in dolce far niente. (Not sure what that means? Go read my last article.)

When it came time for him to go, we both got a little emotional. As much as it is sad to leave your partner, we both knew that wasn’t really it. Of course it was to an extent, but not entirely. We both woke up Sunday morning homesick and filled with thoughts of home. Has our new micro-obsession of the early 2000s show “H2O: Just Add Water” helped us through this sad little moment? … Yes. Yes it has. 

It's the simple things! Like a polaroid of you brushing your teeth!
It’s the simple things! Like a polaroid of you brushing your teeth!

Realizing that this experience is truly a once in a lifetime experience is definitely helpful when it comes to beating homesickness. That, and relishing in all the new friendships you’ve made or all the new foods and activities you’ve tried… But sometimes it is hard to think about home, especially when you get to travel and see your other Hope community members. It’s like getting a short, quickly-passing taste of home before it must inevitably be taken away so that life can unpause. 

But in a way, I am grateful for this teary-eyed bout of appreciation for home. After a quarantine trapped at home and all the ups and downs in between Hope’s campus and my hometown since and before then, it’s hard to remember the things that I hold really, truly dear to me about those places. Yes, I miss Kletz cookies. Yes, I miss my dad’s cooking. Yes, food may or may not be one of my love languages. 

As hard as those dips are, they do give you a new appreciation for home, as well as open your eyes about the new things you’ve discovered that you can take back home with you (such as as many bags of Nutella cookies as I can fit in my suitcase). So this week, as much as I feel refreshed from getting to see Jack, I also carry with me a love for home and an appreciation for all I’ve come to find in Rome.

Published by kathrynsmith

Class of 2023 Communications Major, Writing and Theatre Double Minor IES Rome, Italy

Leave a comment