Un Mese a Milano / A Month in Milan
Updated: Jul 8, 2020
I just want to start off by saying that I am well aware that I have not posted content onto my blog nearly as much as I have wanted to or have promised (and when I say that, I mean I haven't posted anything at all). As one can imagine, moving to a different country has been overwhelming in the best ways possible, and so, I've been breathing it all in.
Nevertheless, I am back and ready to share and store all my experiences and memories with all of you on here. Now that I am a bit more settled in to my new life here, I hope to actually upload much more content much more often and consistently.
In 3 days, I'll have been in Milan for exactly a month, and what a month it has been. It terrifies me how quickly time is escaping us here. In my one short month in Milan, I have fallen in love with this city and all of the people here; I have learned more about myself and about the world in this past month alone than I have in my entire life; I have met people that I already know will be in my life for the better and for forever, who simultaneously inspire me, support me and challenge me.
I won't bore you with every little detail of my life here so far, but I will share with you my favorite ones. Milan is a city that has brought me great joy. I have fallen in love with all of the major details to every little ones. It's a city with many layers, each of which I am unfolding a little more and more each day - I have only merely scratched the surface. It seems impossible to put the right set of words together that can fully depict the magic of this city.
Growing up, I did not always love the hustle and bustle of New York City, but, as I matured and discovered my passions, New York City became a dream to me. It became my goal and my obsession, yet, slowly, I have come to love Milan a little more than New York. I feel like I've found a home for myself here. It's a bit more tasteful than New York, a bit more euphoric and way more romantic. I adore this city so much so that I have delayed all of my travel plans.
Before departing, I planned to travel almost every weekend to other countries around Europe, as many people do when they study abroad. However, as I said before, Milan is a beautiful city with many layers that I hope to discover. I decided to dedicate my first month solely to embracing my sweet, sweet Milano.
We have been told that studying abroad in Milan is a much different experience than studying in other major tourist cities such as Barcelona or Florence, and I believe it. They say that right away, you fall in love with Barcelona and Florence because of its beauty and it takes time to see all the beauty in Milan. However, in major tourist cities, you'll leave your study abroad time still feeling like a tourist, but you'll leave Milan feeling like a true Milanese. I feel as though I can already attest to this statement. I already know that if I were to ever return to Milan, it will always feel like home.
I have had a wonderful time exploring the streets of this city, going to aperitivos as much as I can, drinking many bottles of Italian wine, experiencing the night life here and staying 50 feet away from my comfort zone at all times. For those of you who are unfamiliar with aperitivo, you have not lived until you have tried it. It's a traditional Italian happy hour, where you buy one drink for as little as 10 euro, and you are brought an all-inclusive platter of Italian meats, cheese, pizza, fruit, fried dough, etc.! Talk about ballin' on a budget.
The clubs here have been so much fun, somehow my friends and I have managed to get treated to the VIP sections and bottle service almost every night we've gone to clubs. If you're ever in Milan, and are looking for some good spots, my favorite places so far have been The Club and Alcatraz. Like I said before, though, I have been cautious about remaining in my comfort zone and have been working on staying as far away from it as possible. I didn't come to Milan to meet and hang out with just fellow Americans; I came to immerse myself fully in this culture. I want to learn the language as extensively as I can in the four months I am here by surrounding myself with locals. I've started to venture out to restaurants, aperitivos and bars free of tourists with my, now, best friend, who we'll get to. I've come to learn that the people are even more welcoming than the city.
I can rant about the magic of Milan for years, and I can cry an ocean about how much I love it here. It isn't just the beauty on the surface that appeals to me, it's the sense of belonging and self-discovery. Giorgio Armani said it best,
"Milan is a true metropolis: strong and fearless but welcoming, too. Little by little, I came to realize that I could become someone here."
This, to me, is the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. I have realized the purpose behind these four months for me is to soul-search and to self-discover. I've always been intimidated by my life plans and goals, but my dreams have never felt more in reach than they have this past month. Having my first internship as an assistant fashion buyer for an amazing company in the city where luxury brands like Prada and Versace came out of, is something I still can't wrap my head around. If you told me 2 years ago that this would be my life today, I would think you're crazy. I have gotten to learn so much already from my mentor and am beginning to attend showrooms this week. It has honestly been my dreams brought to life.
It sounds cliche to say that I feel myself becoming a new person abroad, but I have been - for the better. I've been finding who I am through inspiration and confidence from the people around me. I am slowly becoming completely comfortable with being myself, unapologetically, and not caring what others have to say about it. It is truly here, in Milan, that I have realized I can truly become someone, anyone.
I have met such soulful, creative, talented, passionate people here that have brightened corners of my soul and have only added more fuel to this fire that has already been burning within me. The friendships I have made here are bonds that I already treasure dearly.
When you're in a new country with people in the same boat as you, you all come in as strangers but will guaranteed leave as family. The little family I have created here is a group of extraordinary people. Constantly being around people who share similar passions, ambitions and work ethics, yet differing perspectives and creativity, has been so beyond good for my mind and soul; being around like-minded creatives has challenged my way of thinking for the better and has only pushed me to want to cultivate.
I am so thankful these people have pushed me to step out of my comfort zone with the content I want to put out into the world, particularly the person who has become one of my very best friends, Mckenna. She constantly reminds me that I have way too much fire and light to share to be dulled down by and for anyone.
In just one month, Ken has become my person here and best friend, who I know will be in my life forever. The bond we have created is the epitome of the saying that friendships are not defined by quantity but by quality. I have never met someone so similar to me, yet so different. The bond we have created is similar to friendships I have today that took months and years to develop, yet we've done so in a month's time.
We'll be taking on many adventures together. I'm excited to share all that is still yet to come. In this next month, there is a lot to look forward to, such as... MILAN FASHION WEEK and lots and lots of travel. As I said before, I haven't done much traveling outside of Milan due to my desire to know this city well. So far, I have only snowboarded the Alps, which was an incredible experience. Next week, I begin my travel adventures. Stay tuned.
Here is a gallery of my first month here: