I left my heart in Rome.. because that’s where it belongs.

23 May

Leaving what had become my home and my adventure for the past 4 months, I clearly needed to be sedated. I can’t really tell you much about the hours leading up to my departure mostly because I tried to black them out (theoretically and literally), but also because I find them too depressing to put into words. Saying “goodbye” to the people who had become my makeshift family, using my last bit of Italian before it would be no longer accepted, and soaking in the last bit of being the minority that was either praised or hated by the natives, it all meant that my time in Rome was quickly coming to an end. Sooner than I would have hoped for.

Now, I’ve been home for almost a month now and I have experienced a wide variety of emotions since returning. Those emotions include nostalgia, mild-depression, satisfaction, and bliss. There are many things one must prepare themselves for when coming home to America:

  • It’s fugly
  • Your clothes won’t fit
  • Food doesn’t taste half as great
  • You will actually feel safe crossing the road
  • You will feel a hell of a lot lazier due to the lack of walking EVERYWHERE
  • English isn’t THAT great
  • Friendships may/may not be the same as when you left
  • People don’t care as much about your experience as they say they do/you had hoped they would
  • NO ONE understands, unless they’ve also studied abroad
  • You WILL binge eat and most likely gain more weight than you did abroad

I found this excerpt about returning Home and I couldn’t have explained it any better:

“Home is a funny thing. All we wanderers, and expats, and wanderlusters, and adrenaline junkies, and road-trippers – we can’t help but come back broken hearted. We find ourselves back in the old places, passing time in old jobs bartending or selling cars, with one foot out the door and half an eye on the next adventure. Our hearts hurt. We get stuck in the past and can’t seem to reconcile where we’ve been with where we are. Faces and memories fly by – and you can’t get over the fact that you’ll probably never see most of them again.

But we forget to count our chips. We forget that – for better or worse – it’s all part of the deal. The adventure. The heartache. They don’t mix too well, but they sure ain’t sold separately. The true travelers venture out for experience and much more. We wear our hearts on our sleeves and open our eyes as wide as we can and stand it for as long as we can stand it, because – that’s living. Heartbreak is the nature of our business, the necessary flip side to falling in love in Paris, drinking a Stiegl at the top of a mountain in Austria, trying to get yourself up on a surfboard off the coast of Beirut, passing time getting to know people and smoking hookah on a seaside dock in Saudi Arabia.

It’s hard to leave pieces of your heart lying on the ground of city streets 3000 miles away. But it’s beautiful. We weren’t meant to come back with a fluffy conscience and a clear head. My heart aches for old memories. I miss old friends. And I always will. There’s no getting over it. But that’s what happens when you live with heart open and palms up. My heart didn’t get taken. I went with it open. It hurt then because I knew it wasn’t forever – and it hurts now because the times are behind me. But in the emptiness there is love. Parts of myself are gone. They belong to people and places far away, and that’s where they’ll stay. And if you want to have adventures, you have to be OK with that. You have to know from the start that the thing is going to change you – and then you have to let it.”


WATCH ME- Study Abroad 2013 Compilation

Thanks to all my blog followers for sharing my experiences with me and commenting! This blog wouldn’t have been as satisfying and enjoyable without all of you! I hope you get to experience everything that I have been so blessed to experience.

I want to dedicate “C’era Una Volta” to everyone I met (new friends, my Italian family, bar owners, family friends, and old friends) in Europe who turned my “Once upon a time” experience into the unbeatable and unforgettable time of my life.

Until another time,



6 Responses to “I left my heart in Rome.. because that’s where it belongs.”

  1. Janet Rogalla May 23, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    Marlo I feel for you. I know the feeling of coming back from a trip of a lifetime and realizing how no one seems to care, but I do! I would love to sit down and hear all about them without a ton of people around. I guess no one understands the feelings and emotions you go through while your living in a world of amazement unless they share them with you. Nonna wanted to go live in Italy after she came back, and was shortly swept off her feet by my dad who obviously changed her mind. We never know what our future has in store for us. You might be the one to live out Nonna and my dream living in Italy. God if I could go back in time! With all your wonderful blogs I felt like I was there with you enjoying my youth again. Don’t stop following your dreams. Life is way to short. GO FOR IT!

    • marlomarisie May 23, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

      Love you Auntie Janet!!! You’re the best! Lets go back together!!!! Thank God for my wild unforgettable experiences with you, or else I’d go crazy!

  2. Carla Cerone Lovelace May 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    So heartfelt! Even though I’ve never studied abroad, I hear you! Well said… You had my heart aching & my eyes tearing. Love You Marlucc😘💋! You’ll always have my ear to listen to your experiences of a lifetime!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Gail Teigeiro May 23, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Well, that was a tear jerker, my dear. I have not commented on any of your other posts, but you can count on the fact that I anxiously anticipated each and every segment you so graciously and eloquently shared! What a fantastic and remarkable opportunity you have been blessed with, and it is beautiful to see how you have embraced every moment.
    Thank you for allowing me the pleasure and excitement of your incredible journey!

  4. Jill May 24, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    Marlo, that was beautiful. I do want to hear about everything you experienced. I was like a junkie waiting for your next posts so that I could be with you in Italy. I’m so very proud of you and blessed with such a wonderful daughter. Any parent would beam at your enthusiasm, appreciation, wanderlust and talent in expressing your feelings and adventures. Once you have graduated, go where your heart takes you. life is too short to live with regrets and you dont ever want to find youself in a life without really living! I love you deeply, mom

  5. Carla Cerone Lovelace August 23, 2013 at 4:05 am #

    Sent from my iPhone

    Begin forwarded message:

    > From: Gina Lazzaroni > Date: August 22, 2013 4:38:19 PM CDT > To: Michael Lazzaroni , Michael Spidale , Jude Cerone , Debbie Terlato , “cerlove3@gmail.com” , “jackceronec@gmail.com” , Jill Marisie , Gina Macchitelli , Lisa Macchitelli , Vanessa Guarneri > Subject: Fw: Fwd: Winds of change – I agree!!! > Reply-To: Gina Lazzaroni > > > —– Forwarded Message —– > From: Lucie Fassnacht > To: Mary Norris ; Mary Etherington ; shaxted@gmail.com; Joey Perez ; Gina Lazzaroni ; Belinda Bauer ; Jennifer Parrish ; Patty Jasen ; Leesa Quade ; Linda Perez ; Sarah Claire Lewis ; GrammaLu Slater ; Joseph F. Perez ; Steve Lewis ; Lina Abraham ; Allison Perez ; Odonnell ; Karen Dralle ; R. & K. Lewis ; Leslie VanBoven > Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2013 2:04 PM > Subject: Fwd: Winds of change – I agree!!! > > > > Sent from my iPad > > Begin forwarded message: > >> From: “James K. Cunningham” >> Date: August 22, 2013, 1:05:17 PM CDT >> To: Karen Bloom , Mizgoldin , Marina Jacks , “Linda & Joe Meisel” , Leigh Truitt , Lucie Fassnacht , “Dee & Al Brody” , Robert Alpaugh , “Susan & Dick Panzica” , Patti Ablah , John Goldstein , Sarah Wetzel , “Rich & Ann Vitkus” >> Subject: Fwd: Fw: Winds of change – I agree!!! >> >> >> >> ———- Forwarded message ———- >> From: William Robert >> Date: Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 11:46 AM >> Subject: Fw: Winds of change – I agree!!! >> To: George Clapham >> Cc: lynn walker , floyd ward , jack walker , louie neuner , “Aubrey II Guthrie (LinkedIn Invitations)” , Byron York , Rod Rice , robert bertrand , Ron conway , arvid skogerboe , cozy Kline , hugh alexander , dick brown , kirby cunningham , harold young , c a mitts >> >> >> hope this finds you all well and kicking….willie p >>

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