After landing in Italy, still jet lagged, I didn’t know what to expect. In fact, I was utterly nervous and sweating profusely. I’d never been to Italy before this summer, so I was pretty sure that if the cheese and wine didn’t clog my arteries and kill me, then the language barrier just might. Very few people speak English in Italy and French was out of the question. England was empowering, but Italy, besides discovering my love for cream-filled pastries, made me realize that something was missing.
In the land of olive oil, cheese and wine, I stayed with my aunt, her husband and my baby cousin. I did not yet know my purpose of visiting Italy besides spending quality time with family, having a good time and learning the history of the country, but I got much more than that.
Everyone goes through a period of not knowing what they want or who they are as a person. In high school, when people said to me “tell me about yourself,” I honestly couldn’t tell them because I didn’t know. After finishing high school five years ago, I had a hunger for finding myself. I decided to start with where I came from. I strongly believe a person can not know who you are without knowing where they come from. Despite studying abroad in my family’s home country of Dominica for three years, I didn’t fully learn that. Who would’ve thought that I would learn about the missing part of my family tree from a country that has a completely different culture from the one that I was raised around.
It was amazing learning that my blood is a mixture of different races from both sides of my family leading back generations and during the times of slavery in Dominica. I went to Italy to learn about its history, but ended up learning about my own.
À la prochaine,