Four months ago, I stood over my empty suitcases, faced with the exact dilemma that challenges me now – how to take my room with me across the Atlantic ocean. Four months ago, I was saying goodbye to old friends. Now, I’m saying goodbye to new ones. Four monts ago, I was jetting off on exchange to Paris. Now, I’m flying home for the holidays.
What a whirlwind these last four months have been. I saw 20 cities across 9 countries, learned to appreciate wine, went up the Swiss Alps, hitchhiked across the French-Spanish border, celebrated Oktoberfest in true Bavarian style, was involuntarily involved in a death (when my train in France ran over someone), experienced Venice in flood, suffered 4 major French strikes, and developed the habit of eating bread with every meal. Europe has been breathtaking, exciting, and emotional. I’m convinced that some of the most memorable moments of my university experience has been weaved into these last few months.
When I left for France in September, a wise and wonderful woman (hi mom) told me that she hopes I find what I want in life when I’m on exchange. Up until a few weeks ago, I was disappointed because I didn’t think it had shown me anything more than what I already knew. But when I woke up last Sunday, I realized that perhaps it already has – just in a different way than I’d anticipated. It’s raised a lot of questions about personal goals, professional aspirations, balance and priorities. I’m sure I’ll keep reflecting on these topics when I’m back home, but lucky for me, my time in Europe isn’t up yet. I’ll be moving to England in early January for another semester abroad.
So these last four months abroad have brought me a lot of questions, perhaps, if I’m fortunate enough, the next four months will bring me some answers.
Until next time, stay classy.