miércoles, 13 de febrero de 2013

Can't Believe It's Over but This Experience Has Changed Me Forever

 I've been putting of this blog entry for a while now, and the reason is I never wanted this day to come and I never thought it would come so soon. I've now been abroad for 4 months and in Madrid for 3 and half of those months, and if it's not apparent already I absolutely love it here and have been having the time of my life. At this point I've adjusted so much, and gotten so used to life here that to me it is home and so when I get on that plane tomorrow and fly back to the States it will feel like I'm leaving home and leaving behind a big part of me. I'd love to say how excited I am to come home but I'm honestly not, I'm excited to see my family and share this experience with all of them but a part of me wil always be yearning to come back.
 Over the time I've been here I have grown so much intellectually, socially, and mentally; I have met tons of new friends both American and Spanish; and I have had the great opportunity to reconnect with old Spanish friends again. I also have had the great privilege of living in a home with the nicest, sweetest, most hospitable host mom who has truly made me feel at home here. As I look back on it all there is so much I have gotten to do while I've been abroad that so many other people never get the opportunity to do in their entire life times and that makes me truly thankful for my experience and for my parents for being so supportive because they are the reason this is all possible. I really have been able to see the world, the final tally is I've been to 10 countries over here Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Portugal, Ireland, England, Italy, the Vatican (it really is its own country, I asked just to make sure), and of course Spain; and within those countries I've been to over 20 cities. Before coming abroad I'd left the country twice, once to the Dominican Republic on a service trip and Canada a few times, but lets be serious that really doesn't count. I was a lot like the Europeans before they discovered America, the US was all I really knew except for pictures and stories of my parents many travels all of the globe.
 I decided to put the second half of this blog off until I was back in the states to document being back and what that initial feeling was touching down back in the US after 4 months of being immersed in a different culture. Well I succeeded in doing that much but I put it of way longer than I had meant to. It's now been 2 months and 2 days to the day since I got back to the United States and at this point I have pretty much fully adjusted back to my normal life, with a few exceptions. When we first got back it was such a surreal feeling, there was so much excitement flying over MA and looking down and recognizing all this local landmarks such as downtown, my high school, the pond by my house, the country club I work at and have grown up walking and the towns of the south shore where I spent all of high school days. I literally felt like a little kid on Christmas eve, I couldn't sit still in my seat and I just wanted to jump out of the plane and parachute down to my city, I mean thats so much more logical that staying on the plane and flying all the way to JFK first just to hop on another plane 3 hours later and fly back right? When we were in the airport I found myself feeling like a foreigner in my own country and ordering coffee and food was a little difficult at first because I still ordered in Spanish and got weird looks from the cashiers. And then there was American money... what was this rectangular stuff that actually fits in my wallet? Where's my monopoly money? When I finally made it to Logan that night I was so giddy to get picked up and drive through the city and just look at, I literally had to pinch myself to make sure it was real and wasn't a dream. When my parents picked me up they were obviously way happier to see me than I was to see then, but then again what would you expect I'm a grown kid I can't be bothered with sappy hellos and hugs. Nonetheless it was great seeing them even though I had seem them 3 weeks earlier when they came to visit me. The first few days of being home were pretty surreal and it was a lot of walking around town and driving all over the place to just because I wanted to drive through all these familiar places I'd been away from for so long.
 Now back to the present, it is currently 1:41 AM and I'm finishing this blog as a means of procrastinating from writing this paper on WB Yeats' for my 100 level English class... yes I am a junior taking a 100 level English class... and yes its as brutal as it sounds, I really should of just saved myself the pain and taken it as a freshman so I wouldn't have to be the only upperclassman in a class of 17 freshman. But anyways at this point I've been at school for exactly a month and I feel like I've pretty much re-acclimated but there are some things that have changed permanently. One that isn't permanent is realizing that I have to actually do work again and its not all fun and games and that there are grades to maintain, might be another month before that fully sinks in though. The permanent changes: a college party will be never be nearly as fun as they were ever again for as long as I live,  I find myself constantly yearning for something different, something greater and something new that I think will only be satiated by continuing to travel to new corners of the world and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and daily routines. Another permanent change is that Burlington doesn't feel the same to me anymore after spending a semester in a huge and lively city like Madrid. I guess not event the US feels the same, in the back of my head I constantly think about Europe and the places that I saw and got to spend a weekend exploring and how much I missed exploring there, let alone all the other countries and continents I didn't get a chance to visit.
 I am a new person now, my horizons have been broadened and I have a thirst that cannot be quenched for new things and new experiences and constantly pushing all of my limits. After a semester in Spain it feels like home to me that same way Boston does and at the same time after travelling and being exposed to Europe and the many different countries and cultures that it is comprised of I feel like the world is my home and I don't have any specific place to identify as home. My love for Boston has not been diminished rather my eyes have been opened and the world has shrunk to me, I can now relate to so much more and have had so many stereotypes proved wrong that the world literally feels smaller. It's an amazing feeling and I can't say enough just how happy I am that I took advantage of this experience and how blessed I feel for my parents allowing me to make this experience a reality, it was a truly amazing experience that has changed me forever and that I will never forget; it really wouldn't have been the same without the wonderful people and friendships I made along the way either. Well thats the  end of it, time to hang up the cleats and quit my career as a blogger and actually go finish this paper that I have to wake up and turn in in a short 6 hours, its been a pleasure and thanks for reading.