I have never been very good at goodbyes. I think that I secretly don’t believe in them. Even if I know I won’t see someone again, I usually find myself saying “See you later,” regardless. Maybe it’s just a habit, or maybe it’s my subconscious refusing to acknowledge the possibility that I won’t see them later.
This being said, saying goodbye to Salamanca was difficult. I have truly enjoyed my time here. The city is so familiar to me now, that it feels strange that I won’t be returning any time soon. It’s crazy to think that I now have a place to call home on the other side of the world. I will leave a piece of me behind in Salamanca, and I really hope I will return one day.
When it came time to leave Salamanca, the city was at it’s finest. The streets were lined with lights, and the Plaza was decorated, too. During our last night in Salamanca, Jess and I took pictures in the Plaza, just as we had done during our first night.
Our last day in Salamanca was nice. It went by slowly as we said our goodbyes to the IES Abroad staff and did a little last minute shopping. We ate our final lunch with our host family. Jess and I gave our host mom our final parting gift, a framed picture of the three of us. We sat and talked for a long time after lunch. We had coffee and snacks, and reminisced on our time here. When it was finally time to go, there were tears in my eyes as I said my goodbyes. This was it. I took one last look the room I had stayed in for these four months, and shut the door for the final time.
Studying abroad was an experience unlike any other for me, and yet it didn’t take long for me to adapt to the lifestyle. When I finally got back to the United States, I found myself wondering if it actually happened. When you get home, everything is the same, just as you left it. It makes the last four months seem to fly by in your memory. I guess, in the grand scheme of things, four months is a very short time. But so much happened in such a short period of time, that it almost felt surreal.
People say that studying abroad changed them. I don’t think I can say the same. I am still me. Studying abroad didn’t change who I am, but it helped me grow. I am more confident now; not only with speaking Spanish, but also with being on my own. I learned how to enjoy being alone. I also learned that independence and responsibility aren’t scary; they’re just part of growing up.
When I got back home, the house was decorated for Christmas. I purchased an ornament from the Madrid airport, and hung it up on the tree. It was my last purchase while in Spain with the last of my euros (or at least what I thought were the last of my euros until I searched through the pockets in my backpack). This ornament is a reminder that it was all real. This ornament is a reminder that, one day, I have to go back.
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<p>My name is Micky Ferguson and I am a rising junior at Claremont McKenna College studying Government and Philosophy. I am from Pasadena, California, which, in 2014, was named the Snobbiest City in America. But I will be the first to say that the people who conducted the survey were probably just jealous because they know that we are better than them. I have a passion for photography, video production, and puns. I love taking portrait photography, but I like taking candid photos more - I think that photos tell more of a story when they aren't posed.</p>