I started off this journey the night of Dec 19th by saying goodbye to all my close friends and family of Alicante. It was sad knowing that the family that our group had created wouldn’t be together anymore. By the time I was ready for bed it was almost 1 am and I had to get up at 4am. The excitement rushed through my veins and I couldn’t sleep. Who could? I was going home for 20 wonderful days and I couldn’t wait. At 4 am I proceeded to get ready and off to the airport I went. I waited for my 6am flight and slept all the way to Madrid. There I waited for what seemed like forever, reading my Spain book and listening to music and have a cappuccino. Before I knew it, it was time to start the over 8 hour flight back to the States and I was pumped. After 3 movies, 2 cds on repeat and a 2 hour nap it was only about hour before touchdown.
I made it Philadelphia and I turned my American phone on and began to get the excitement back from the night before. I called my mom, used facebook on my phone, got American dollars out the ATM and bought a Vitamin Water. There was only a few hours left before I could see my mom for the first time in 4 months and when I got off that flight in Syracuse and walked past security, there she was waiting for me! She didn’t recognize me at first because I had straightened my hair and there were quite a few people coming out. She greeted me with a huge hug and started to cry and that was one of the best hugs of my life! My luggage unfortunately hadn’t made it yet because well customs is slow. So I waited 2 hours for my luggage to arrive.
A few days later I did get sick but this time is wasn’t bad just a little sore throat and I was tired. I spent Christmas in bed sleeping but out of all the places I could’ve gone for Christmas I’m glad I went home because there really isn’t any place like home for the holidays. I spent my 20 days catching up on some sleep, seeing my family, seeing my friends and shopping. I even made a special trip to Rochester to see my 3 best friends Amanda, Liasor aka BFF and Egzon aka other bff! I also ate so many foods I hadn’t had in 4 months like tacos, waffles, sushi, steak, chicken wings, bagels and of course Dunkin Donuts!
Looking back 20 days wasn’t long enough. I wasn’t ready to come back to Spain yet and I even had a few tears. I guess it’s hard knowing that I have to leave everyone again and I didn’t realize how much I missed them until I got to spend time with them and have fun together! And even though I’m not a fan of Spanish food I actually missed some of the food like spanish tortilla and the yummy rice dishes my madre makes.
I am back in Alicante after another long and exhausting 20 hour trip. This time is seemes to fly by and I was here before I knew it. The weather is beautiful and warm. The sun is shining. It’s just how I left it. My madre greeted my with a big hug and besos. It was nice to know that she missed me and that she was happy I was back! I slept for about 14 hours that first night but couldn’t sleep my second night. While I was home I used Wal-mart.com and made my spanish sister a photo blanket for her husband who is in Panama for 3 years working. I used about 9 of her photos and it came out beautiful. Everyone loves it and they can’t wait for him to come home in March to give it to him.
Friday I get to see the lovely Erica and my girl Kelly on Saturday. Both of whom were here last semester and are here with me for the year. My orientation starts Sunday night and the Intensive starts the 18th. I’m glad I have 5 days with nothing to do but speak Spanish and get back into the Spanish groove. But I still miss everything being in English, my mom, my friends, and my comfy bed. This experience has been amazing so far and I hope this semester goes well. I want to be so much better at Spanish, which is inevitable since that’s what I learn here. I want to travel to Prague, Madrid, Lisbon, Vienna, Salzburg, Barcelona, Geneva, and Morocco. Erica and I have a South of Spain trip planned in April which I’m really excited for. That’s because we are gonna go to the Strait of Gibralter where you can play with monkey’s! How cool right? Yea there will be pictures of that!
My study abroad family asked me if was a good idea to go home because the other girls staying for a year stayed in Europe. The answer to that question is hard to answer. Before I left, I said it was fine. I wanted to go home because I knew I was coming back. Did I have a good time? Of course I did. It was amazing to see everyone and be home. Did I miss Spain? Yes. I missed my spanish family and the weather. Did I speak Spanish while home? Nope. Was it hard to come back to Spain? Absolutely. It was hard leaving home again and coming back to complete immersion. Am I happy to be back? I’m still deciding. I realized I didn’t miss the food like I thought haha I like being with my madre and I don’t have anything to do but relax. I’m speaking spanish and trying to gain my level of achievement before I left. And I miss home more than I thought I would and possibly more than last semester! Who can really say that they don’t love their mom, her cooking and her hugs? I may be 20, almost 21, but my home will always be my home no matter where in the world I am.