Holly Callahan
May 18, 2015

It has been just over a week since I returned to the United States. My flights home were long and happily uneventful.

 Galapagos_San Diego_Flight_Holly Callahan

I landed in San Diego just after sunset, making the view from the plane even more beautiful than usual.

Galapagos_San Diego_Dinner_Holly Callahan

My first full day home was Mother’s Day. It was great to be able to celebrate with my family. This is a photo of the dinner we had that night. Quite different from the cuisine in Ecuador!

Galapagos_San Diego_Donuts_Holly Callahan

I spent time with my friends from San Diego and I had a touristy day with my parents (that started out with the donuts above).

Galapagos_San Diego_Balboa Park_Holly Callahan

That day we also went to Balboa Park. Overall, my first few days home were packed with activities and I became exhausted and kind of grumpy. In all of the orientations, we were told that when we got home we would most likely experience “reverse homesickness” and maybe that’s what it was. All I know is that I just needed some time to chill out and do nothing. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the number of cars or people speaking English, like I thought I would be. It was more the constant noise and stimulation in the US that got to me. I needed some time to stop traveling and just be home.

After a few days I felt like myself again! Which was good because I was getting on a plane for Seattle, just 6 days after returning to the States.

Galapagos_Seattle_Indian Food_Holly Callahan

In Seattle I have been taking advantage of all of my favorite things, like this Indian food street truck that comes to the farmers market every Saturday. So many great things in one!

Galapagos_Seattle_Hammock_Holly Callahan

It has been delightfully sunny recently in Seattle, allowing me and my boyfriend, Jack, to test out my new hammock! It was a 21st birthday present from my parents, and a wonderful reminder of the hours spent in the hammock at my house back in the Galapagos.

Galapagos_Seattle_View_Holly Callahan

The views here are different, but in some ways just as beautiful. I loved the time I spent in the Galapagos and I will miss many, many things (like free papaya any day of the year and the beach being just a short walk away). It is weird to look back and think about how much time passed. Without seasons or changing amount of daylight, it felt like it was always January and the months never changed. One of the craziest parts of being back is to be thrown into spring without having watched the process and having the days suddenly be hours longer.

When people ask me how my time abroad was, I struggle for words. How do you quickly describe four, life-changing months of your life? Does the adjective exist to correctly relate the feelings of nervousness, awe, exploration, frustration, extreme happiness and relaxation happening at the same time? Overall I know I loved this experience and I am so grateful that I got to feel like a resident on the Galapagos Islands, learn in such a unique natural laboratory and meet wonderful people from around the world!

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Holly Callahan

<p>Hello! My name is Holly and I love nature and the ocean. For four months I will be studying Marine Ecology in the Galapagos Islands. I can&#39;t wait study, live and explore one of the most beautiful and wild places in the world. Adventure awaits!</p>

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