So here I am. Sitting in my house, packing for Elon, and listening to my “Argentina New Music” playlist. It will be two weeks of being home tomorrow, exactly on New Year’s Day. And yet I cannot believe that it’s over. One friend told me that being abroad turned into some sort of dream after a while of being back at school, but that she didn’t think it would happen to me because I had such a strong connection to my host country.
I love Argentina. No matter where I go or what I do, I constantly compare it to the Buenos Aires Way (yes, it deserves a capital “W”) that it’s done. The first thing we did when I got home was head straight to the grocery store. That was a bad choice. Two words: sensory overload. The bright colors, free samples, shiny wrappers, music, and loudspeakers were too much for the little Argentine in me to handle! Soon, getting a new phone, and getting started on things for Elon, I started adjusting a little bit more. Luckily, there were no more breakdowns after the first few days. The first three days back were probably the hardest. One of the biggest challenges is seeing friends who were not abroad, and who are excited to see me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly happy to see my friends again, but at the same time, I’m not, because it means that my semester is over.
No doubt, as time passes, I’ll stop remembering the negative things about my experience, and remember only the “fun stuff.” But hopefully when this happens, I’ll have the good sense to look back at my blog and remember the highs AND the lows. I have the answer to the common question, “How was it?!” Whenever somebody asks me this, I simply answer, “I learned a lot.” And that, somehow, encompasses everything that this experience held for me. I learned a lot. It means that, literally, I learned a lot of academic information. But it also includes my cultural, social, and self-learning that I took part in during my semester. It also excludes the bubbly, happy answers that most people expect to hear, for which I am glad, because it often encourages others to ask me about my semester (which is NOT a “trip” – I’ve also realized that it bothers me when people call it that) and actually care about the answer that they get.
There are so many reflections about this experience that I’ll continue to make as my new semester and the New Year begins. Luckily, I have another journal, so that not everything has to go on this blog, but I’m glad to have the audience I do, reading and following as much as they do.
(Also, I know I promised a full album of dulce de leche photos, so, as promised, it is posted below!)