“We are so often caught up in our destination that we forget to appreciate the journey, especially the goodness of the people we meet on the way. Appreciation is a wonderful feeling, don’t overlook it” – Unknown
As many of you may or may not know, I made the decision, like many of my second semester junior friends, to relocate and immerse myself in a new culture. In a few days I will be living and studying in Florence, Italy for over four months. I plan to continue using this website as a way to express my thoughts, style, and creativity…but also to update everyone on my excursions throughout Europe. So just when you thought my blog posts couldn’t be any more all over the place, I am becoming a travel lifestyle blogger. Exciting stuff, I know.
As I wrapped up this fall semester and started preparing myself for all of the exciting newness to come, I couldn’t help but already feel nostalgia for a place I just left. Now feels like an appropriate time to express the gratitude I have for this home away from home of mine. Minneapolis, Minnesota has become so deeply embedded into my heart over the past two and a half years. Going to live in a city where no one knew my name was an intimidating hurdle to jump over to say the least, but boy am I glad I did. The sense of belonging I have there isn’t a mistake of any sort. It’s the combination of everything that makes Minnesota great.
I’m not entirely sure where to begin describing my appreciation…So I’ll start with this, the people. “Minnesota nice” is an actual thing, and I love it. Aside from the occasional hint of passive aggressiveness (because who’s nice all the time), people here have been overwhelmingly kind, humble, and most importantly, real. Whether it be a barista at Starbucks, your closest friends, or the passersby on stone arch, everyone knows that a friendly disposition and a “how are you” goes a long way. I genuinely believe that you can be in any setting, under any circumstances, facing any issue…and it will always boil down to the people around you. So, if you’re currently reading and I’ve met you somewhere along my journey here, thank you. Thank you to all the humans that reminded me the sincere importance of humility and selflessness.
I wouldn’t be correctly encapsulating my love for this place if I weren’t to also address the city in itself. After only a few weeks on campus I deemed Minneapolis a hidden gem embedded in the United States, and I venture to believe most Minnesotans agree with me on that one. I like to think of this city as a mini Chicago, a little cleaner, friendlier people (as mentioned above), and a lot less crowded. In the last two and a half years I’ve seen numerous professional sport games and famous musicians/DJs, all within 5-15 minutes from my dorm/sorority house. A typical jog gets me from the heart of Dinkytown to the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Not many campuses have the feel of a close-knit collegiate community, with immediate access to the expansive skyline sitting atop the horizon. This place is truly special, and I continuously marvel at its charm and character. To be entirely truthful, I couldn’t hold back the sobs when saying my goodbyes to the skyline.
After tears, and laughs because my tears froze in the icy Minnesota air, and more tears, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am lucky. So beyond lucky that I have found a place that is so impossibly hard to leave, a place filled with people that I cannot bear being away from, a place after a mere two and a half years I can confidently call home. Minneapolis, I appreciate you. It’s gonna be a long 6 months apart, but I have a good feeling Europe will keep me entertained.
P.S. I know I’m one of few on this trail of farewells, but consider taking a second to think about the people you’d long for while being away for six months. (I miss all my people already) Now go spend time with them and give them a hug, or twoツ