Shadows of Studying Abroad

Kyra Bean
July 18, 2017

It’s been a little over a week since I sleepily dragged myself through the customs lines and out of the airport in New York, making my way home to my excited cat, family, and friends. Just like that, my two-month adventure in Europe is already a memory, and all the people I spent nearly every day with are its shadows. I have spent my first week home laying with my cat as she happily licks my face, claiming me so that I never leave again, and reconnecting with my home friends. Everything is back to normal.

 

It may be a cliche that studying abroad changes your life, but the little changes gradually begin to lurk beneath your routine. I never left my bedroom doors open at night, but after doing so in Europe all the time, it seems only natural. I feel more open in every sense, comfortable with being vulnerable, and leaving my doors open seems symbolic of that (also, it lets the heat out faster). I didn’t really explore a lot by myself before, yet since returning I’ve found a new love for wandering around on my own. I love my own company more than ever, and that is an incredible achievement for anyone.

 

It feels good to be home. Still, sometimes it feels like a part of me doesn’t fit here anymore. I feel less attached to any one place than I ever have. I have so many places that all feel equally like home. And it’s getting more and more difficult to relate to my comfort zone friends who have never left my hometown. I love them with all my heart and always will, but we just don’t see the world in the same way anymore. Thankfully, I have so many stories and pictures through which I can share my view with them.

 

I’m already planning my next adventure. It seems like my life just consists of waiting eagerly in anticipation for my next journey. If all I ever do is roam, I will be eternally at peace. This is it. This is what my soul was meant to do. I can’t wait for the next culture I can dive into, the next group of amazing souls I can connect with, the next exotic food I can devour, and the next landscape I can escape into. I have been bitten by the travel bug, its venom driving me to foreign lands. I am so thankful for this amazing learning experience. It has been an absolute pleasure.

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Kyra Bean

<p>Hello! My name is Kyra, and I&#39;m a Writing Major at Ithaca College. I am more than ready to fall in love with these beautiful European cities -&nbsp;Paris, Rome, and Madrid -&nbsp;this summer, and I hope that my blogs will let you fall in love alongside me. Get ready to be tested, as there will be many challenges to overcome on our journey together. Hang on tight, and enjoy the ride.</p>

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