RACHEL ALLEN- Ok so this is my last blog entry of all eternity, and forgive me if it is a bit scatterbrained as I spent most of the day in the car with my mom (or Eedz as many of you might already know). I guess I’ll just use this final blog as a way to touch base ~emotionally~ with myself. Sorry if this isn’t as campy or fun as my other posts, but I got to get out of my comfort zone and into the Auto Zone. Okay last joke to stall talking about my emotions I promise (I won’t keep this promise).
Before I came on this program, I was in denial. I’ve said this before, but I don’t handle change very well. And this wasn’t like moving to a different state to attend college; this was moving to a different continent. Up until driving to the airport on January 14th, I thought something was going to go wrong at the airport, and I would have to stay in the US for the semester. I would go, “lol remember that time I almost went to Europe? So crazy.” But obviously, the airport went fine and next thing I knew, I was on the plane. Since I was in denial, I really hadn’t thought about what life in Madrid was going to be like. Taking advantage of my eight-hour flight, I decided to ponder this topic – what would differences between my current life and my future life be. This wasn’t a successful brainstorm, as I only came up with siestas and speaking Spanish. As soon as I landed in Madrid, I knew my experience was going to be incredibly profound. By week three, I would constantly think to myself, “oh THIS is why people study abroad.” Learning about another culture, another way of life, another language was truly invaluable to my life. I could never fully express what this program meant to me.
Now that I’m a #hardo when it comes to loving study abroad, my current problem I face is transiting back to the states. I really do miss the United States – the convenience, my favorite queso dip from my favorite restaurant, Publix (if you don’t know what this is look it up right now). Oh and also my family and friends. It’s not like I’m kicking and screaming at the idea of going back. I’m just afraid of being “that abroad student” that legitimately never shuts up about going abroad. Because I don’t like that abroad student! But at the same time, experiencing this opportunity of course now I understand why you would want to share this with friends and family. I’m already prophesizing myself answering “dime” when people call me on the phone, or saying “no pasa nada” when someone accidentally bumps into me. I’m already looking up Spanish tv shows and podcasts to listen to back in the states to help maintain my Spanish. I think all of these things are a legitimate part of my journey, but I really don’t want to be that person that can only talk about study abroad. An important thing to realize is that everyone’s life happened back in the States while I was gone.
I guess the hardest part about saying goodbye is that I know I will never be given an opportunity like this again. It’ll be hard going back to the States and to start figuring out my future, but I am so happy to carry the memories of this experience with me.