Two weeks ago, I got on a plane in Lisbon for my journey back home to Oceanside. My time in Portugal was short and went by so fast, yet we did so much in such a short period of time. It was like a double-edged-sword, I was sad to leave yet happy to get home to my family.
My grand adventure officially came to an end just over a week ago and I am back home in Northern California reflecting on everything I just experienced. The more I think back on this trip, the more I realize how much I grew in just four weeks thanks to study abroad. Aside from being an amazing time to see more of the world, it was time to challenge myself and break down anxiety.
I cannot believe that this is my final week in Lisbon, Portugal before I return home to San Diego. My time here may have been short, but it was filled with such amazing experiences that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Three hundred and thirty-six days: That is how much time I spent away from home this year. Well, that is how much time I spent away from my San Diego home. Eleven months: That is how much time I spent exploring the world. Seeing things I never dreamed of seeing. For years, I dreamed about how my time abroad would be. The anticipation killed me for so long. Now it is all over.
Though I am still in Europe, my time in France has come to an end. The semester ended two weeks ago, and I am finishing up my last bit of travels as I write this. It is now time to start thinking about transitioning back home after a full year abroad. Home feels so foreign now, and I have very mixed feelings about returning. I am almost more scared to return than I was to go abroad in the first place.
The two weeks I spent in Rimini were amazing to say the least. Some can say it is hard to get a real cultural experience in two weeks, but I would have to say they are wrong. Because this program was only two weeks, we had to pack a lot into a short amount of time.
My study abroad in Finland has concluded after four transformative weeks. As I begin the long and tedious journey back home, I compiled a short film in which snippets of my study abroad are shown.
After a 16-hour flight I’m back home in San Diego. My year abroad has been filled with adventure, challenges, friendships and so much more. There are so many things that I learned abroad that would have been difficult to learn if I never left home.
We all do it. We make expectations for how we want certain things to turn out, on a small and large scale. Well, I’m no different. I had high expectations for my adventures abroad in Southeast Asia from the day I got accepted to Thammasat University. Here’s why I think it ultimately hindered my experience – and why we should all let go of expectations and appreciate the journey for everything that it is.