Homesickness and all that jazz.

Well, next week will mark three months of me living in another country – something I never thought would happen. And it has been amazing, indeed. I have travelled to Ferrol, Fene, Madrid, Porto, Murcia, La Coruña, and am even leaving for Lisbon this weekend. I have flights booked to London and have trips to Barcelona, Rome, Paris, and hopefully Germany in the works. I have made so many new friends, including my roommates, their friends, their families, and other students studying abroad here in Santiago with me. Even in my classes I’ve met some great people!

And while I really can’t find almost anything to complain about, I have to admit that I’ve been battling homesickness for a little while now. I know that this is normal, but it doesn’t mean it’s fun. Sometimes I wonder what the heck I’m doing living in Europe for a whole year! I mean, am I crazy? My family, friends, boyfriend, and everything else that I know is halfway around the world, and I decided to leave all that for a year? I even miss my own bed! As another girl I know here (also studying abroad) said, it feels like I’ll truly be able to exhale once I’m back in the states – like I’m just constantly holding my breath. But I figured it might help to write about it and see how others are dealing or have dealt with homesickness. So here it is.

The craziest part of all is that there isn’t even anything going on at home for me to miss. Everyone is just doing what they do, leading their regular lives! But, still, my heart breaks when I Skype with my cat. Yes, I Skype with my cat. The darn cat probably has no idea that I’m not even there. If I lived in Europe then I could easily go home for a weekend and see my cat, as many of my European or Spanish friends do. But, no, I’m American and stuck here on the weekends – and that’s when the homesickness is the worst. 🙁

But, that’s where the travel comes in. I have found that it is SO important to get out of Santiago once in a while and see new areas of Spain or Europe that I haven’t been to before. Like I said, this weekend I’m going to Lisbon! I really liked Porto and have only heard good things about Lisbon, so it must be amazing 🙂

Anyway, the reason I came to study abroad wasn’t to study – I have already completed both my major and minor so I technically don’t even need any classes. So, I’m taking fewer classes so I can focus on meeting new people, traveling for a year, and improving my Spanish. Thing is, I need to remind myself that sometimes! Otherwise, like I said, I just wonder what the heck I’m doing here.

But, the real reason I came here is because I knew that this is a once-in-a-lifetime kinda thing and will always regret it if I don’t. And that reason alone is usually enough to convince me that the money I’m spending is worth it, because I have the rest of my life to make up however much I have spent since I’ve been here. 🙂

So, in conclusion to this random post, am I truly happy to be here? Yes. Do I really want to go home? No, although sometimes I might really feel like it. But the time has already flown by and the semester itself is almost over. Max will be here next month and then I’m off to England to visit family, and then it’s my birthday, and then my family will visit, and then it’s Spring Break…. basically I still have a lot to look forward to. 🙂

Viva la vida!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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