I’m Back!

Rachel Elwell
December 19, 2014

Well, I arrived back into the states a few days ago and jet lag has certainly been getting the better of me. I’m convinced that traveling from east to west is worse for sleep patterns because for some reason whenever I travel in an eastbound direction, I can get comfortably into the new time zone’s sleep pattern, but going westbound always takes forever. I suppose a good thing that comes out of it, though, is waking up early, which is meant to be good for you or something. Anyway, I should probably discuss how it has been different being home. Whenever my program discussed re-entry into the states, they always said how it would be mundane and how we would miss the interesting and different life that we had grown accustomed to. I wasn’t sure how this idea was going to affect me, but so far being home has proved quite the mundane/boring experience. I mean, I honestly have not left my house willingly since I got back, and I’ve not left my new neighborhood at all. Right, that may be another thing. As I’ve discussed, my parents moved to a new house about 40 minutes from my old one while I was abroad and I really don’t know anything about the area or anyone who lives here. Now this may be a contributing factor to me not knowing what to do with myself, but it’s likely that I would have been feeling/doing the same if I were living where I was before.

Now, there were also many things that I was excited to experience again when I came back, many of them food. I found that in Spain, while I did enjoy the food, it was often fairly bland with little spice or seasoning. And, since I was in a pretty small city, nearly all of the food I could get was Spanish food. Not to mention, I was in a home stay, so going out to Spanish food or those rare other types of restaurants was rare, and I was served mainly Spanish food there too. My first meal back in the U.S. was a burrito in Chicago, and while it was on the more “fakey Mexican” side, it was spicy and delicious, so different from anything in Spain. I’ve also missed Asian foods, like sushi and Thai (but there is Chinese food in my fridge, yum!), and American foods like the beloved In n Out burger. Hopefully I’ll be able to get these soon. This isn’t to say that I won’t miss Spanish food, and I even got my parents a Spanish food cookbook as a gift, so hopefully they can make me something familiar at some point, but for right now, I would prefer the stuff that I haven’t eaten in nearly 4 months.

I suppose what I will miss most about Spain is the ability to leave the house and just walk around, while passing so many places of interest. The grocery store was right there, cafes were everywhere and so many of them were amazing, and there were so many cute shops from little boutiques to big chain stores, all within easy walking distance. That is certainly not the case in the suburbs of California, nor the expanse of the greater Rochester area (although the area near my school has improved which I am excited about). Salamanca had everything within such a manageable distance, and I certainly got my exercise every day. All this being said, I really am happy to be home, and I’m ready to take everything that I’ve learned and everything that I’ve become and apply it to my life here. Studying abroad, I believe, made me a stronger individual with a (somewhat) new outlook on life, and I intend to continue bettering myself and hopefully my communities as well. Thanks for watching and listening to me throughout the semester!

Signing off for the last time,

Rachel

Rachel Elwell

<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);">My name is Rachel and I am in love with traveling. I come from California and I am currently studying digital media at the University of Rochester. I am an avid watcher of TV, eating delicious food, and fan of long walks on the beach. Exploring new places and learning about the world are my passions and I hope to share them with anyone I can.</span></p>

Destination:
Term:
2014 Fall
Home university:
University of Rochester
Major:
Interdisciplinary Studies
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