Where it all began –

I attended Studio Art Centers International in Florence for study abroad during July this summer.  My whole life I’ve dreamed of traveling and this was my first time out of the States. Seriously, everything I have studied and worked for was leading up to this moment. The experience was eye opening and life changing, to say the very least. The first few weeks I was only taking photographs when I realized they weren’t adequately capturing my feelings. So, I felt compelled to make this video.

First and foremost, I fell in love with this city; the cobblestone beneath my feet, the smell of leather wafting through the streets – I could go on and on and on. (my only complaints being mosquitoes and a lack of ranch dressing) There was something about this place that really hit me, hard.  I joked about marrying an italian man so I wouldn’t ever have to leave – which is another story entirely. I remember having the thought, “I don’t feel homesick whatsoever… does that mean in some capacity that I’m already home???” It may seem a little drastic, but I became totally attached.


A week after arriving back home in Ann Arbor, I had a lot of trouble adjusting back into my life. The thought of starting school, starting my senior year and a huge project right after I had this experience that changed the way I saw absolutely everything – it seemed impossible. I just didn’t feel finished in Florence yet. I didn’t get to leave the city at all, I wanted to see more, do more. So, one Sunday morning I had the though “What if I take a year off of school and move back?” wait.. what if I really do that? Once I had the thought I knew I had to try or I would always regret not doing so. I would push forward until something got in my way, and if nothing did I knew it was right.

In that following week I busted my ass more than ever, arranging housing, making sure my academics were in order, seeing what the consequences would be to take the time off and researching what it would take. To my surprise, the entire plan unfolded almost effortlessly and most people in my life were completely supportive – the doors were swinging wide open and all I had to do was step through. By the next Saturday, I purchased a one-way plane ticket.

DET -> BOS -> NY -> MILAN three planes, two trains, a cab and nearly 36 hours later, I arrived back in Florence 40 days after I left.

So here I am. In a month, my life became something I could have never imagined and at the same time it’s like living a dream. Anything I could have ever planned is tossed to the wind, my heart flutters from the excitement of the unknown and endless potential. I’m not used to expressing myself with words, so bear with me! With this blog, I invite you all to join in on this adventure of mine.




9 thoughts on “Postcards from Italy

  1. Marlene I am so proud of you. I am so happy that you are learning about living life abroad. Remember you always have a place to stay in Thailand. It isn’t Italy, but it just might be as magical!
    Much love to you!


    • Marlene Lacasse says:

      Kathryn! thank you so much! It’s been a dream, seriously. and I’ve wanted to visit you in Thailand since before I came to Italy. But I think it was a good place to start for my first travel experience. I think of you often and I promise to visit you as soon as I can.
      Love you!


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