She Stood at the Very Edge. She Saw a Light. She Leaned Out to Touch it. And She Flew.

Emily Xouris
May 30, 2015
Afternoon sun on Amsterdam canal

It is my last night in Amsterdam and it is getting really emotional here. For the last week, whenever I ride my bike around the city I think to myself, you better pay attention and take this all in because you might never see it again. But I hate to think like this. I do not want to say goodbye to the city I have fallen deeply in love with. I'd rather just say a thoughtful farewell and see you next time. It still gets pretty bad though when I ugly cry on the inside.

After I returned from Greece, my mom has stayed in Amsterdam with me until we depart to the states. It's odd. I thought having family around would help me adjust to going back home but it has, honestly, put me in this awkward middle. I have a piece of home with me but it seems strange it is now in Amsterdam. I am not completely in Amsterdam but I am not completely in Kansas. It gets really trippy. I love having family here, but I feel an obligation to sort of entertain my mom while I'm wrapping up with finals, packing, returning keys and cards, preparing for an internship, and saying goodbye to my second home.

I sometimes feel I have to fluff up some things I blog about. What reader wants to read about that one time I got lost riding in heavy rain which turned into hail which turned into a big cry fest? Nah, I won't burden you with that. But now that I am leaving tomorrow, the reader must know that studying abroad is possibly the most emotionally liberating and heavy experience one could ever encounter. I got really homesick on the first night in Amsterdam. I cried, literally, for three hours in the early morning before the sun even came up. At a certain period, I hated the idea of ever returning home because I was so utterly happy in my new home. I got homesick again after I got food poisoning from a pomegranate. I hated my study abroad days for a while because of that one pomegranate. After that, I woke up some nights afraid my study abroad adventure was over and relaxed once I realized I had two months left. It has always been up and down but, honestly, I can never recall a time when I was unhappy. I always felt exhilarated even when I was homesick or soaked in the rain. I will be waking up at the crack of dawn tomorrow and boarding a plane that will take me to my first home. It is comforting to know I will be able to, legally, watch Game of Thrones, pet my cat, and buy the type of deodorant I know and love. It is incredibly saddening to me that I will not wake up in my beloved Amsterdam, as well. This experience has showed me though how much is left to see, hear, touch, taste, and live. Studying abroad has opened my eyes to the possibilities ahead of me. While I find those new possibilities I will not say goodbye to Amsterdam and her lovely memories she has given me. I will simply bid her farewell, for now, and see her soon.

Emily Xouris

<p>Although I am a Kansas native, I can honestly say I have never witnessed a tornado, tended to the farm, or religiously watched The Wizard of Oz. I am a studious college student who enjoys going into the city and testing new ethnic restaurants or going to a symphony performance on the weekends. This explains why my phone primarily consists of photos of food porn and Kansas City architecture. I study international relations and Spanish, both of which offer me a different perspective to the world beyond the Midwest. I often find myself distracted walking to and from class because I hoard pinecones and insist on showing my friends the ones I come across.&nbsp;</p>

Home University:
William Jewell College
International Relations
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