When I left New York for Italy, I thought of all the things that could be potential problems being so far from home. Could I buy the things I normally get here? How do I set up a new cell phone? What are the customs in Italy I should know before I get there? One thing I really took for granted was the time difference between New York and Italy. It’s 6 hours. When my friends and I were discussing me leaving, we all said “Oh no big deal, it’s 6 months and we chat online all the time anyway.” It’s true, we’re a multitasking group who keeps in touch pretty easily through gchat. But now that we’re 6 hours apart, when my friends are just getting ready to chat after work, I’m about 2 hours into sleep. I wake up to pings on my facebook chat that say “hey!” left unanswered for 7 hours with no one on the other side when I awake. Pretty depressing way to wake up.
The friends problem sucks, but the worst is really not being able to talk to my mom. My mom is my biggest champion, my all ears, the person I rely on the most. I tell her everything from insignificant details to huge problems that I face and she talks me through it all. I call her everyday at home, sometimes multiple times, just to tell her about my day and see how hers is going. Now when I wake up, it’s 3 am her time, and when I go to sleep she is still at work. We connect every once in a while to chat for a little when she’s on lunch, but when she can actually take the time to talk after work, it’s 2am my time. Sometimes I get a skype call from her then, and I drowsily talk to her for an hour before I can’t keep my eyes open.
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the opportunities I have here, and I am really enjoying the experience (hopefully more upbeat posts soon!). But this has been the hardest part of moving to Italy, and it’s made me pretty homesick. It’s also helped me realize just how important it is to have a solid support system, full of people who care about you as much as you care about them. With all the technology we have in the world today, keeping in touch should be so simple. But so far there’s nothing that can fix time. Time’s a bitch.