Life After Abroad: One Year Later

Adjusting Back To Regular Life After Studying Abroad

You know what they say, a lot can change in a year. And it’s true, a lot can change. But sometimes despite all these changes, feelings remain the same. One year ago, I was packing my things and preparing to make my way back to the states. I knew that I’d never be ready for my trip to come to an end. Even though I was coming home with so many new memories, experiences and knowledge there was still a part of me that fought to stay. I craved more.

I had made a new life for myself in Europe, one that filled me with a joy I had never felt before. Even when I wasn’t at my best, I still felt better than I had when I was back home. Europe re-awakened in me a relentless desire to explore and see the world through the eyes of its inhabitants. I wanted to leave pieces of myself, in every part of every city that made me feel something new. I lived those six months in magnificent “awe.” Who, in their right mind, would ever want to leave that feeling behind?

So here I am, one year later. Still feeling nostalgic and constantly feeling like I’m missing a big part of myself. But rather than wallow in this sadness, I use it to fuel me. The harder I work, the more I feel like I will make it back to Europe, back to the pieces of me patiently waiting for my return. I’ve seen how my experiences in all the many places I travelled to impacted me. I’ve found new ways to re-discover the cities I’ve lived in my whole life. And I constantly hope for new experiences to bring me back to this state of awe, even though I’ve yet to encounter it.

I wish I could say that it get’s easier, but it doesn’t. Every time one of your friends leaves the country, you’re hoping they offer to pack you in their suitcase and take you with them. You re-live days, nights and weekend trips through the hundreds of photos on your computer. And you can’t help but check flights to your destination city on a regular basis to see if by some miracle you can afford the one way flight out of here. Eventually, you will find a way back and when you do soak up every minute of everything you possibly can.

It may not feel like it’s going to be ok, but I promise you it will be.

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