But what is home, really?
Can home now be in more places than one?
We’re all under the same sun.
Returning to the states was bitter sweet. Four months seemed long to my family, and three quarters through, it felt really long to me, too. But now that’s its all over, four months was awfully short. So much happened over the semester, but yet, I’m now feeling like maybe not enough happened at all! You hop the plane, all excited to begin the adventure, you quickly settle in, you soon start to travel around, midterms come, and soon enough… Bam. You’re back on the plane home towards Chicago, and maybe you shed some tears… not because of the wine… or because of Catching Fire‘s saddest moments, but because you realize you’re SO close to “home”! And now, you already miss the one you built for yourself abroad.
Things I am going to miss:
First and foremost: the people I’ve met. They were all amazing. American or Moroccan. They will be lifelong friends.
A few other things are… Tea time, (other girls won’t say this, but I will) the BREAD, the cheap price of petit taxis, the colors and doors of the old medina, the length of the hellos and goodbyes in Arabic, seeing traditional attire worn on a daily basis, the man at the snack shop near school who tells me how many dirhams everything is when I ask “shaHel?”, how easily Moroccans love one another, when Kirstin’s host mom always thanked ME for coming over to eat HER food, speaking only Darija with Habiba, our family’s maid but more importantly, my friend, milwi with honey, all of the clapping during the dancing (though I never understood it, it will be missed)… and the spontaneous field trips that my IES Abroad professors would take us on, and Fatima! And many many many more things.
Upon returning, I also made a list of
Things that I’ve experienced in Morocco that I would like to make a part of my daily life in the U.S.:
Evening snack time (aka dessert before dinner, with tea)
Kissing cheeks instead of handshakes
Drinking more tea (with mint!)
Giving money or food in the streets to those in need
When someone comes over to your home, you must serve them something to eat or drink (probably tea!)
Walking more. I walked everywhere in Rabat. Why should I not do the same here?
The idea of “house shoes”
I also liked seeing Moroccan mothers carry their babies on their backs by means of a blanket tied around them, however, it sounds a little dangerous. We’ll see what happens if I ever have a child.
There is this saying that’s tied to the study abroad experience that states, “studying abroad will change your life!” And in all honesty, I do not feel like a different person. I’ve come home and I’ve stuck back to my familiar ways. However, this whole experience has taught me a lot and I have learned to appreciate many more things. I’ve gotten the opportunity to see many new places, learn new ways, meet incredible people, and eat strange things. I’ll admit, and it’s trivial, but I appreciate now that hot water comes out of my sink on demand, I have a dryer for my clothes, and I can drink the tap water again.
But above all of that, I am so happy that I chose to live in Morocco, despite all of the ups and downs of my study abroad experience.
I’m glad I made the choice, and I think everyone should make a similar choice.
Because as Lara likes to often tell me…
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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);">Hello, everyone! I am Meghan Johns, a 20-year-old student who comes from the small, but lovely Carthage College in Wisconsin. I study studio art, art history, and the French language there, but I am really excited to begin learning Arabic in Morocco. In my free time, I draw and write music. Traveling is always a must on my to-do list. I cannot wait to see what Rabat has to offer. You can guess how excited I am to start my adventures there this next semester, but the only thing I'll love more than having them is sharing them, with you.</span></p>