Making a blog to share my experiences with everyone proved to be one of the most worthwhile things I did while I was abroad. Not only did I share my experiences and thoughts with everyone while I was gone, but now I have this to keep forever. If you asked me about the most exciting thing I did in February, my response would have to be ”…remind me what I did in February again?”. As much as I want to keep all my memories stacked and filed and fresh in my memory forever, I can’t. I can reminisce about the trip, for sure, but lines start to blur after a certain point. Thankfully, I have this blog. I have these entries and pictures and videos and quotes that describe all my emotions at the exact time I felt them. Even reading through it now reminds me of things that have already slipped my mind. I want to hold onto these memories for as long as possible, and now I have a way. It’s perfect.
I know that this experience is over and I’m all settled back at home, but I know some things will be different now. In five short months, I learned so much. I learned about independence and how important it is to have faith in your own decisions and your own skills. I learned about friendship, and how you can find friends in the most unusual places in the most unusual ways. I learned about trust: trust in the people around you, and trust in yourself. I learned about love, and just how fortunate I am to receive so much of it. And lastly, I learned that I have so much more to learn. Being 20 years old means that my life is only just beginning. The world has so much more to offer me, and I can’t wait to see it all.
So it’s safe to say that I’ve enjoyed my time. I lived a lot, I loved a lot, and I proved so much to myself. And even though I’m home, I want to take that attitude with me wherever I go. You can take the girl out of Spain, but you can’t take Spain out of the girl, right? :)
Yes, I know it’s been a while. As everyone can probably assume, the past ten days have been absolutely jam packed with “hello” and “i’ve missed you” and “welcome home!” and it has been so great to be back. But here’s my recap of the end of it all. :)
Saying goodbye was one of the saddest things I have ever had to do. Getting sidra with friends was especially bittersweet on our last night in Oviedo; it was hard to talk about anything upbeat when we knew that goodbye’s were just a few hours away. After having some last laughs, we hugged and cried and promised to keep in touch. Two of the hardest goodbye’s for me were with my friends Alex and Laura. These two amazing girls live extremely far away: Laura in England, and Alex in New Zealand. I miss them terribly already, but I know I will see them again someday. I’m sure of it.
After my last dinner with Oscar at home (he got me a kebab!), I knew I had to at least try to get some sleep because of my early bus in the morning. I tossed and turned all night, staring at the tiny details in my room that I knew I never wanted to forget. My mind was racing and sleeping my last few hours away just felt wrong. It was ending too fast.
But the morning came quickly, and I showered, ate what little I could handle in my stomach, and Oscar called me a cab to take me to the bus station. He helped me load my bags into the car, and I could barely muster a goodbye in between uncontrollable sobbing and hugging. Oscar became more of a big brother to me than anyone could ever imagine. He took care of me when I was sick, made me laugh when I had a bad day, and always made me promise to “watch out for stupid boys” before I went out at night. He made this experience better than I could have hoped for. He wants to come visit America again someday, and I can’t wait. I told him he’s always welcome at my house, especially after everything he did for me.
I arrived at the bus station, said hello to some friends, and together we boarded the bus just one last time. As it pulled out of the station, and through Oviedo, I couldn’t help but stare out the window at everything. No surprise, it was raining. But I also saw the streets and stores I love, the park, friends’ houses, we even drove right by my street again. After another moment, we got onto the highway and it was gone. Oviedo was fading fast behind us and the sun was just starting to rise ahead of us. Going, going, gone. It’s was as simple as that.
The flights were easy, surprisingly. We hardly hit any snags, and we had just enough time during layovers. Time passed slowly but steadily, at best. We travelled for about 21 hours overall, but at the end it was so worth it. Suzanne and I arrived in Boston at about 8:30 p.m. local time (don’t forget, that’s 2:30 a.m. Spain time!), got ourselves through customs, and were welcomed into the arms of family, best friends, and a great boyfriend too :)
And then before I knew it, I was home. The next few days I was slightly delusional, trying to readjust and refamiliarize myself with everything around me. But it got easier, and the feeling of “hello” overtook the feeling of “goodbye” that had haunted me for quite some time, which felt nice. Finally, finally, finally, I’m home.
I’m just so tired today, but I don’t dare close my eyes and take a nap. This day is flying by fast enough as it is, I don’t need to sleep it away.
I’m heading out in a little bit to meet up with my friends one last time for some good ol’ sidra. There’s so many times I’ve thought to myself “this is the last time I’ll ever do this..” and it’s quite a sad feeling. And I keep spontaneously crying at the littlest things, I’m not even going to lie to you here. The most random things are just killing me today. I’m pretty sure I even teared up when I fell down the stairs in my house today, because who knows if I’ll ever fall there again!
So basically, I’m just a curly-haired ball of emotions today. I’ll be airport bound in t-minus 12 hours. HOLY CRAP.
The wifi in my house is broken again (yes, again), so I don’t think I’ll be blogging before I get home unless I can get some free in an airport or something. Otherwise, I’ll be back after my hop across the pond to wrap up this bad boy once and for all :)
Hasta pronto! :)
Today I am sad.
One of my new favorites.
It’s time. It really is. I just finished one last load of laundry because I had literally no clean clothes left to wear, and now I need to start packing things up. I don’t want to. My mostly-empty suitcases are staring me in the face right now, literally. They’re saying “Look, Danielle. You have to fill us with more than a winter jacket, souvenirs, and the occasional scarf. We want the goods.”
It’s so incredibly overwhelming. I really have to take down all the pictures on my walls? And take my clothes out of my closet? And all the papers off my desk? It doesn’t seem fair. Four and a half months ago I was struggling to make this room feel like mine. It was foreign and bare to me. But I made the best I could with what I had, and before I knew it.. this place was mine. The idea that another student stayed in this room before, and that someone else will probably stay here in the future, is unthinkable. I’ve grown quite fond of the bed under the slanted roof, the window that occasionally slams shut when the wind is too strong, the shelves that are now covered in my crap. It’s familiar and it’s all mine.
Packing to go home is so different than packing to come here. When I was getting ready to leave, I knew whatever I couldn’t fit with me would still be at home as soon as I got back. This time, anything I don’t get into those two suitcases is pretty much gone forever. It’s much more stressful this time around, I must say.
Packing just screams finality. I’d much rather frolic around the city, grab some Smooy frozen yogurt, and stare at the peacocks in the park on a wonderful day like today. But instead, I’m coping with these mixed emotions in my room, staring around. I’ve even started listening to my country music playlist, as if I needed more of a mood-setter.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited. I’m really, really, really excited. That doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye though. And goodbye comes first.
Today we had our “See You Later” lunch with the UMass group and our advisor (I refuse to call it a “goodbye” lunch). We ate our faces off, per usual, and it was absolutely scrumptious. We said our goodbyes to our advisor, Carrie, who organized all our events and group meals and whatnot, which was so lame. I’m pretty sure she was the first real goodbye I’ve had with someone here.. it’s definitely the first of many.
“Wow! What’s that on the ground?!
Is that a coin?
I wonder where it’s from, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before!
Wait…wait a minute. Oh god.. that’s a nickel isn’t it.”
GET READY AMERICA! As you can see, I’m a little out of practice!
I finally managed to sit Oscar down yesterday and dialed Vodafone for him so he could get our wifi set up. He went to his dad’s house last weekend (where he happens to HAVE wifi, and left me here without any way to fix it, so he definitely owed me!
But here I am, once again in my own house, ready to browse the world wide web for as long as I please! Yaaaaaay!
Home is wherever I’m with you! :)
Bowling for Soup, “Friends ‘O Mine”
Introducing SABRINA ROY: the hottest chica to hit planet earth, and she happens to be my partner in crime. I wish I was joking when I said that we’re undeniable soul mates, it’s a proven fact. Good thing she lives only a quick ride away in good old Norwood, MA, so our obsession with each other can continue FOREVER.
Our favorite activities as a duo include random song outbursts (Tipsy by J-Kwon happens to be our specialty), Pass The Dance, and we especially love embarrassing photo poses.
Yesterday a couple of us were invited to our Spanish friend Pelayo’s house for some homemade paella. It was absolutely delicious. :) We chatted with his family and afterwards, we discovered he has a trampoline which was obviously a huge hit with everyone. Can you tell how much we love each other? It’s almost a problem.