I’ve been home since Saturday morning and it is the definition of bitter sweet. When June started I felt like I didn’t want to leave. I feared I hadn’t done enough in Santiago, and I was jealous of some of my friends that were staying longer. But, as I mentioned in a previous post, I got a lot done in Santiago the last couple of weeks. I also began to mentally prepare myself to come home. I thought about the things I missed from home, like food and my family. I also was starting to say goodbye to my friends little by little (many started traveling when classes ended), so the goodbyes weren’t as intense as they could have been by the end.
When I left for Peru I had the mentality that I would only have two days in Santiago when I got back. I think this helped make the transition home easier in a sense. I didn’t have time to get reattached to Santiago. My last two days were basically spent packing, souvenir shopping, and attending the goodbye dinner on July 4th that IES held.
I thought I would be an emotional mess on the flight home. While I was sad to say goodbye to the couple of friends at the airport, and still upset from saying goodbye to my host family, I was remarkably put together on the plane. I sat and reflected on my semester. I found myself happy more than sad. I thought about all the amazing experiences I had, from Patagonia to Peru, to all the fun times I had exploring Santiago. I successfully lived in on a different continent for a semester, and learned how to navigate a foreign city in a foreign country, one that I made a second home. Because I had come to terms with the fact that I was leaving, I felt proud about my semester. I learned so much about people, cultures, history, food, Spanish, and about myself. I’m so glad I studied abroad; I’m now even more excited to travel more (and do it with confidence).
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">As a native New Yorker and a student at the University of North Carolina I'm psyched to journey even further south to Santiago, Chile for the semester. I'm a junior and a Global studies major hoping to improve my Spanish and meet a whole bunch of awesome people! Also, I'm a huge tea drinker, so I'm ready to experience Chilean maté!</span></p>