For those of you who are new to my blog, hello – my name is Adi and the top things I can’t live without are music, politics, and traveling – in no particular order. I spent January in Florence learning Italian and every time I go back to Italy I fall more and more in love with the country and its people. This in itself made it difficult to leave, but what I was coming back to in the U.S. is what made it much worse.
I embarked on my journey to Italy on January 1st, leaving behind Obama’s America, thinking solely of what was coming next my way – the coffee, the fashion, the language, the history, the beauty, and of course the men – not of what would be taking the place of Obama’s legacy in the upcoming weeks. Italy was the best and worst kind of distraction. Best because I had no time or desire to check in on what was going on in the States, but worst because I had no time or desire to check in what was on in the States. I lived in my own world. Well, Italia’s world, where I would stand and have a caffè (yes, an espresso) every morning before or during my break of the 4 hour intensive class I had Monday through Friday. I spent my nights walking through the Renaissance and getting to know works of Michelangelo and Brunelleschi,simply walking around Florence took me back to a different time. Some nights I would dance around my apartment, gazing at my view of the Duomo, while getting a little too happy on vino rosso and wonder if life could get any better.
January 20th hit sooner than I would have liked and knocked me out of my sogno italiano (Italian dream). Suddenly I couldn’t ignore it because the social media posts were everywhere. I distinctively remember the moment that snapped me back into reality. As I was scrolling through Facebook that Friday, I paused on a post that read “Donald Trump’s Inauguration: Live” and something came over me. I clicked and heard the final words swearing him in as our 45th President. I quickly closed the tab and then my laptop. I decided that I would continue to live my life as I had in Italy and deal with the mess when I got home. But something lingered. I felt anticipation, fear, and a desire to do something, but was unclear about what I should do.
As the days passed, I would get daily reminders of this feeling with every Executive Order Trump signed. When I saw alerts pop up from my NY Times app, I would quickly delete them off my phone’s home screen and continue about my day. I walked everywhere, and enjoyed the views and the history. I thought that maybe if I walked far enough, I’d be able to go back to another life time where the kind of destruction our country was facing couldn’t have existed: Ancient Rome.
January 25th arrived and I was on a flight from Fiumicino in Rome to JFK. All went well, I landed and caught a cab home. I ate dinner with my parents, cuddled with my dog, and fell asleep. The next morning I woke up, and received a notification from the New York Times. I was still groggy and jet lagged, and fuzzily read something about an Immigration ban.
Everyone was complaining about the year of 2016, but talk about a rough start to 2017…