Climbing out of the rabbit hole…

I didn’t mean for my last [depressing] post written on my final night in Italy to be so, well, final. In fact, I’ve tried writing a follow-up post several times since I returned to the US–now over one month ago. But reflecting on my time there and looking at pictures just spirals me into this abstract realm full of both good and bad feelings, both concrete and intangible memories, both gratitude and desire. Abruptly ending such a distinct, significant life experience has made this a confusing, apprehensive transition back.

Transition back….Back? Or forward? Or just onward? (And down the rabbit hole of feelings and wishes and realities I spiral…)

Every time I try to make sense of all these thoughts, I find myself with an overload of memories, observations, discoveries, ambitions and missing pieces. It’s why they all end up chaotically spiraling into nothingness; it’s why I feel completely disconnected from my own present life.

So, I’m gonna start taking some time now and then to just focus on one aspect at a time. Starting now, I’ll be posting some articles about different aspects of my experience–whether it’s reminiscing on a memory, contrasting Italian and American culture, voicing observations I never expressed, digging up a gem of a photo, or telling a story I haven’t yet shared. Once again, I thank everyone who kept up with this blog during my time in Italy, and I hope some of you will still enjoy its continuation 🙂

One of my memorable moments during my last week in Florence was acting as Alice in Heather’s Alice in Wonderland Florence photo shoot for her photography class, which my housemates and I had a blast modeling for. I’ve left our Wonderland, and now time’s-a-tickin’ to climb on out of that rabbit hole…

Photo Credit: Heather Ayvazian

3 comments on “Climbing out of the rabbit hole…

  1. Nana says:

    Hi Elizabeth,
    So glad you’re back writing. I can understand how you feel, it’s like a sailor that has to get used to land after being on a ship for a long time. Has to get his legs back again. I’m looking forward to more of your stories. Keep it up.

  2. Hi Liz,

    Reverse culture shock can be quite frustrating…it’s great that you’ve decided to continue to write about your experience. I went through the same thing after my study abroad experience in Florence back in 2005 and most recently after living in Costa Rica. It’s difficult to try and explain what your life was like abroad to people back home.

    If you’re interested in sharing your experience (via an article or photos), I recently launched a digital magazine called Native Foreigner ( It deals specifically with reverse culture shock and is a way for returning travelers to connect with one another and share their experiences. Feel free to email me if you’re interested.

    Best of luck with the transition home!


    Lindsay Hartfiel

    • Liz J says:

      Hi Lindsay,

      Thank you very much for the supportive words and opportunity! I will certainly look into your magazine and get in contact with you 🙂


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