Two weeks from today, exactly, I will be on a flight making the trek back to Boston. I am more than halfway done with my study abroad experience! What’s even weirder to think about is that I only have two more weekends here!
I definitely have mixed feelings. I am very much settled into my routine here and love being constantly in another culture, but I am also ready to get back to my life in America. One thing I’ve learned here is how much we glorify going abroad and the way others live. Or, at least, that’s how I always pictured living in Europe.
But, the truth is that everyone in Europe and around the world lives the same way we do… with a different culture, language, and many more differences, but at the end of the day we are all just people who settle into routine.
People in Europe aren’t living this glamorous life where they party every night and eat amazing food and have way more fun than we do on a daily basis. They’re just people with the same amount of monotonous days who find ways to have fun, in moderation. That’s exactly what we do; we go to our jobs, or school and spend most of our time doing things we don’t fully love. But what makes us fulfilled is finding joy in the monotonous.
Routine is inevitable; having every day be jaw-droppingly amazing is just unrealistic.
When people undoubtedly will say to me, “OMG how was Spain?! It must have been absolutely amazing!” it’s going to be hard to answer. What I am doing here is just living my life somewhere else. If you go on vacation somewhere and don’t fully immerse yourself, then you can expect every day to be amazing. But what I’ve been doing here is going to class five days a week and finding ways to have fun during the moments that seem monotonous. This is a lesson I want to carry over to my life in the US.
Yes, I’ve made some incredible memories, seen some earth-shattering views, and immersed myself in a beautiful culture that I love. But that has not been the majority of my study abroad experience. The pictures you see are the 10% of my time here that I spend traveling and visiting aesthetically pleasing places. The other 90%... I’ve gotten to truly see how other people live. And, it’s made me appreciate my life in the US that much more. It’s my home, and I love it now more than ever.
Now, after all of that deep-thinking, it’s time to announce the winner of the jewelry contest! Thank you to everyone who participated.
The winner of the contest is…
Congratulations, Martha. Everyone else, stay tuned for the next contest!
۞ ally ۞