Hi everyone! Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Hope you all are doing well and enjoying yourselves this time of year. Ever since I got back, everything flowed very well back with my family that it doesn’t feel like I even left! Even though I’ve had new and different experiences, it’s nice to come back to the comfort of my own home. People have been trying to make plans and catch up and all I want to do is curl up and sleep. I think after taking such a big trip, it’s exhausting to tell the same story. Of course, depending on who you talk to it’ll be slightly different of course. It will be sped up, slowed down, and maybe even summarized to a few folks. All I know is, sometimes you will gain friends just because you studied abroad. People are more inclined to gravitate towards you because you did something really cool! You did something different. And that’s definitely worth talking about and sharing but just remember you’re giving your time to the right people. Some folks are going to reach out because it’s the holidays and they haven’t seen you in forever. Some are just interested in living through you. It’s hard when you have to come back and share your experiences with people who don’t really know what you’re talking about. When you want to share your struggles of living in a host family or the communication barrier, they won’t be able to relate. In all times, that is OKAY! You don’t have to treat people differently just because they haven’t been through what you’ve been through. You can still express how it was for you.
Although I know that question ”how was it” is broad and vague, you can do it. You can do it in the best way you know how! Of course, I want to continue my Spanish but I’ve found a lot of backlashes trying to speak it here. In a joking way from those closest to me but all jokes contain truth at the end of the day. I blasted my “international slaps” playlist in the car and of course, I get the eye rolls from my friends who think I’m doing too much. But that will happen when you go away and embrace another culture.
Wouldn’t it be weird if you came back the same? Wouldn’t it be weird if you didn’t teach them what you learned abroad about Spanish history, culture, and traditions?
The answer is yes, it would be pointless in my opinion. Of course, some things are just for you and a lot of what happened, people may never fully know or truly understand but that shouldn’t stop you from educating your family and friends what life was like abroad. You don’t have to do it obnoxiously, but in a manner that shows you want them to be a part of your experience as I’m sure they were keeping up with your social media posts and pictures. My biggest lesson has been that some things are just for you and not everything is meant to be shared. It’s okay to keep some moments private and secure. These were your experiences, lessons, and learnings. You are free to share them however you please.
Also, I was warned there would be culture shock when I came back but not really. I mean I was in Barcelona which is a highly metropolitan city. Of course, there are differences but it’s not like I was living in the countryside without phones or technology. In terms of city life, I appreciate the relaxed suburban nature of being home. I do miss efficient and rapid public transportation! Glad to be back in California, but I will miss all my friends and host family in Barcelona! Until next time Barca!!! Thank you for giving me an experience of a lifetime. It was definitely an adventurous, fun, and enriching chapter of my life!!
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Hi I'm Raisa, and I usually introduce myself by saying my name is pronounced like a bowl of rice and then uh. I enjoy writing poetry, taking photos of nature, and making playlists of all musical genres.