Editor’s note: Curious what day-to-day life is like while studying abroad? Interested in off-the-beaten-path locales? Danny Dyer has you covered. Danny kept this journal recapping each day of an unforgettable journey to Ecuador this summer.
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.
Looking back on four weeks in Finland, I can confidently say that studying abroad was one of the best decisions of not only my college career, but my life. I explored places I never expected to see, I took classes that just aren’t offered anywhere else, I met new friends from both SDSU and around the world, and I had the time of my life. So, why were there so many tears the last week?
As I continued with my studies and made new friends, I was presented with the idea to travel with my friend, Feli. Feli, short for a German name that means happiness, invited me to explore more of China with her. She asked me to come along to see Xi’an.
When I got the email declaring that I will be studying abroad at the University of Mannheim in Germany, I was beyond excited! However, from the point where I learned that I will be coming to Germany to the day I boarded the flight, it still didn’t seem real to me.
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.