As I sit in the Airport in Sevilla I’m already starting to reflect on the fact that I’m about to enter my final month in this amazing country that has completely taken a piece of my heart with it. How much has changed since I stepped off the plane here about 3 months ago, stressed, confused, and sans luggage. Of all the things I’ve found during my time abroad I think the most rewarding has been a sense of appreciation and joy in the little things. Something that I had lost in the haze of a stressful and hard sophomore year at Penn.
Things have by no means gone perfect during my time abroad. I’ve almost missed flights, had to rework my budget due to unforeseen events, deal with a computer crash that lost most of my pictures from the first month of my time, adapt to a program that was nothing like I thought it’d be and missed some family events I would have loved to be apart of. But even with all of that in the past and whatever the next month holds I wouldn’t change this experience for anything (Sorry, Pope Francis).
When I thought of coming abroad I was beyond excited I already had two of my best friends on my program, had another one of my best friends from Penn studying in France and just thought of all the places I could travel with them. Ironically, one of my best friends on my program Sofia (with whom we had started talking about going abroad literally the first day we met freshman year) and I rarely see each other. And while I live with my other friend, Jordyn, I do a lot of travel on my own. While I love both of them, I actually think this is for the best, because it’s allowed me to turn my abroad trip into exactly that Victoria’s abroad trip. I’ve stopped doing things just for the sake of doing them, stopped forcing myself into experiences because it’s what twenty year olds are “supposed to do/like” and have truly spent the past three months getting to truly know what’s important to me.
This is not to say I couldn’t have done this in the States, and I’m aware of the extreme privilege it is to be doing any of the things I am, but there’s nothing like getting off a plane in a country you don’t know they language nor anyone there to truly get to know what you’re capable of. So I’m not letting the little things get to me while I’m here.
In a little over one month I’ll be back in the States and part of me will be ready to go especially to be home for the holidays but the states aren’t my only home anymore. The best thing I’ve learned about my travels is home can truly be anywhere for any amount of time. So for the next month while I still have a chance, I look forward to finding more places that feel like home.
Now that my flight’s starting to board it’s time to go see if I can find home in Amsterdam and if nothing else, I hear they have great pancakes.
Saludos a todos!