• What I Don’t Miss About the U.S.

    Air conditioners. Target. Attentive waiters. Space. Lots of it. These are just a few of the things I miss about home (my loved ones, of course, go without saying!). The more time I spend in Italy, though, the more accustomed I become to the lifestyle here. Sure, I can do without sweating in my sleep during the hot, summer months. I also wouldn’t mind going to a restaurant and not having to ask three times for a glass of water. However, as annoying as the little things are, they pale in comparison to the big ones–you know, the things that actually matter and give substance to our lives. One such example, which…

  • You Are an Immigrant

    You are an immigrant. You pondered it for a while. You packed your life in a couple of suitcases. You kissed your loved ones goodbye. You left your homeland. Then, You arrived in the States by boat, plane or foot. You didn’t know the language. You didn’t know the laws. You were confused by the customs. You felt lost. Then, You were ridiculed. You were discriminated against. You were considered “less than”. Then, You found decent work. You learned some English. You made some friends. Soon, You became successful And, You raised a family And, You worked even harder But, You never forgot where you came from. You are the…

  • The U.S.’ Obsession with War

    Growing up in the United States, the notion that ours is the greatest, most powerful country on earth has been ingrained into our impressionable, young minds since birth. As a child, I noticed nothing strange about pledging allegiance to a flag before classes every single morning. Or hearing my classmates boast about relatives who had either departed for or returned from some faraway war. Or learning that the U.S. had either influenced or played a major role in most conflicts in history. It was only until just a few years ago that I realized just how bizarre it all was–how the Pentagon allowed its infatuation with war and military might…

  • My One Month Update

    It’s been a little over a month since I arrived in Milano, and I still have so many mixed emotions. I promised I’d be candid about my experiences living abroad, so here they are… For as long as I can remember, I have looked forward to every trip to Italy, regardless of the length of stay. This time was so different, though. This time, I really didn’t want to go. I cried often in the weeks leading up to my departure; overwhelming sadness, guilt, frustration and confusion often consumed me. Having a past and present in one country, with a future in another across the ocean, is as exhausting as it…

  • How the U.S. Abandoned a Holiday it Helped Birth

    Today is a particularly extraordinary one. Today, March 8th, is the 43rd International Women’s Day (IWD) since its inaugural observance by the United Nations in 1975. As an American, I was completely unaware that this public, unofficial holiday even existed until one day, during my teenage years, I came across numerous images of mimosas (the flower, not cocktail!) on my Facebook feed. My Italian friends were congratulating and sending virtual mimosas to all of the women in their lives, including me, and I had no idea why. Since then, I’ve always wondered why we do not commemorate IWD in the States. Interestingly enough, I recently learned that the historic event…