It's been a long time since I've blogged on this site. I officially ended my daily blogging last fall. Since then, I have written a couple of posts about life after Italy.
It's now coming up on 11 months that we have been back in the United States, Oregon specifically. We've had our ups and downs. The Christmas season was the most difficult. There was something magical about Christmas in Italy. I think mostly, it was due to much less commercialization. Sure, the Italians buy presents and the stores are full of holiday 'cheer', but overall, it is so much less prevalent than here in the US. In Italy it seemed like the holiday spirit was more focused on community rather than individuals. Not many Italians decorate or light up their apartments, but most cities, towns and villages have beautiful light displays for all to enjoy. And, most every town has a Christmas market. And while you could argue that a market is 'commercialization', it truly did not feel that way at all.
Since Christmas, life in the US has settled more and more into a daily routine. Work, school, groceries, laundry (although this is not a daily routine like it was in Italy), etc. Overall, I am feeling more and more content in my surroundings and in life as it is. I don't miss Italy as much as I did last fall.
That said, there are still moments when I yearn to be back in Italy, or Europe. When we have pizza, I miss Italy. When we go out to enjoy some drinks, I miss the family atmosphere of bars in Italy (here in the US children are not allowed in many places that serve alcohol.) When I get my email Rick Steve's blog updates, I miss Europe. And lately, while I watch the European bikes races online, I miss actually being able to see them in person.
We are enjoying life in Oregon now and I am content with that, but deep down inside I will always have a strong connection in my heart for Italy.