Dear all,

Undoubtedly, one of the most difficult aspects of being abroad is missing your friends and family. Especially when people close to you, but at the same time far away, are getting sick and you can’t rush back home within an hour to see them, but you have to go through lists of possible flights and/or trains, you have to make sure that people can drop you off at the airport or pick you up, and/or that you find any other means of public transport reliable enough to bring you to your destination.

It’s very simple. When I’m in Italy, I miss my family and friends dearly. When I’m in the Netherlands, I miss my boyfriend just as much. When we return to Cittadella from a visit to my boyfriend’s family in the south of Italy, I miss his parents, brother and, of course, the most amazing dog in the world: Billy. (They are like a surrogate family to me, reminding me of my own). Unfortunately, it seems as if you can never be entirely comfortable wherever you are, and that is more difficult than you can imagine.

However, there is a silver lining here. I have learned that the reason I feel this way – i.e. somewhat sad from time to time –  is simply because I have people to miss. I have a lot of good ones around me. I’m lucky enough to have good people basically everywhere. From the Netherlands to Italy. And that thought, that realisation, is truly comforting. Even though I can’t see everybody as much as I would like to, I know they are always around. Somewhere.

From Italy with love,

Merel

Written in memory of my grandfather, whom I miss the most now.