Well, like all good things do, my 13 months abroad has come to an end and I couldn’t be more in shock. Everything went by so fast. I feel like just yesterday I stepped off that plane with my 4 suitcases filled with youthful excitement, and now am back in the mother land broke as fudge.
I remember the morning I left like it was yesterday. I didn’t sleep at all the night before − I couldn’t, not with how anxious I was. When I left home to set out for the airport, tears filled my eyes. I tried my best not to start whaling because I didn’t want to ruin my makeup.
“Keep calm and travel on…”
I clenched my baby Yorkie tight to say goodbye. He didn’t seem to care much, which basically ripped me into a million pieces, but that didn’t stop me, it just made me want to snuggle him longer, and I did until he gave me a kiss back.
But the goodbyes didn’t stop there. I still had to face my mother who had been struggling with the thought of me leaving in the weeks prior. Not knowing when or if her baby girl would return home, she sent me off with water works.
There is something dreadful about seeing your parents cry. As children we grow believing that it’s us that cry, and it is our parents who are there to be strong for us. But suddenly before we know it, the days started rolling in where we ourselves are meant to be strong for them. That morning was one of those days.
It takes these kinds of moments to realize and appreciate the people around us. It’s kind of sad really. We should always appreciate our loved ones, but there is something about goodbyes that slap us in the face to give a good ol’ reminder.
When I finally I arrived, I remember stepping outside into that Barcelona sunshine, taking a deep breath and saying, “Whelp, welcome to your new home.” It felt just like that, home.
I met bad ass people, ate amazing food, traveled all over Europe and even got a master’s degree in the meantime. I learned to play some guitar and spent more time than ever riding my bike and I finally took time for my photography. It was great.
Now it’s that time, I have to say goodbye to Barcelona and embrace the U.S.A. Coming home is a mixture of feelings; excitement, terror and just plain emotional. I learned so much in Barcelona and met so many wonderful people. I even had the opportunity of having a French boyfriend that I built a life with and shared a home.
I got used to the simply life. You know, the good life, when your bills and job take a slight backseat to your happiness and hobbies. When health care is a right and not privilege, and people enjoy the free things in life, not the things you can buy.
I am not sure how to simply just “go back home” after being in Barcelona and living the life I have been. How will I adjust going from a 7 euro cell phone bill and 300 euro a month rent payments, to the gaggle of paperless bill pay and student loans waiting for me?
How will I get used to scraping my iced over windshield at 6 am before I go to work instead of my ten minute bike ride on the beach to the University? How will I get used to Starbucks instead of Café Con leche or my neighborhood Forn De Pa? #Firstworldproblems
I don’t know really. I guess I can’t know. I just have to keep on moving. On the plus side, I really am looking forward to seeing my friends and family, my dog and experiencing air conditioning again. I also can’t wait to find things I need at the grocery store with ease and be able to eat REAL Mexican food.
All I can tell myself is, “Keep calm and travel on.” I mean, this is all a part of the adventure right? There is no “this” without “that” and there surely is no easy way to be torn between two different places I now call home. I just have to keep on moving and somehow take what I have learned in Europe and implement it in my lifestyle back home.
I can be a little Euromerican mixture; a hint of loud American crazy with a touch of laid back Spanish style 🙂 I am ready to see where my life takes me into this new direction (or old direction). Look out MERICA I’m coming home! xx
“When one door closes, another one opens.”