Looking Back

What’s Next?


Looking back on our three weeks in Spain it seems like everything went by so fast. Even though by the time we got to Santiago I was feeling a bit homesick, I remember thinking that it did not feel like we were gone for almost a month. At the same time, when I’d look back on the day I left Florida, that felt like forever ago. I still remember sitting in the Miami airport so nervous to get on my first solo flight abroad. Trying my hardest to make sure everything went smoothly only to land in Barcelona to find out that the majority of my classmates and professors were still stuck in the states. I was in a foreign country where I didn’t speak the language and I was nervous to have to try and navigate this new place by myself. Moments like that always seem scarier before you experience them, because when you’re there even if it’s a stressful situation, you really have no choice but to figure it out. And that’s what I did, with help from my Barcelona airport angel Brianna who came and met me, so I wasn’t completely alone. 

Students eating dinner at Roncesvalles
Dinner in Roncesvalles

That was the first of many little accomplishments that I feel like I really grew from. Even though it seems small, I was really proud of myself for getting through it and making it where I needed to go despite all the hiccups. I took my first steps in Spain with a new found confidence and it really set the tone for the rest of the trip. Everything that happened whether it be a travel delay or learning how to be around new people, I tried to take as much as I could as a learning experience instead of letting things stress me out or bother me. I think this why that day waiting for my plane in the Miami airport seems like so long ago. As cliché as it sounds, I really grew so much from all these experiences, the good and the not so good. So, I definitely feel different from that nervous girl waiting for her flight. My comfort zone before this trip was full of things I was used to. In Spain I was used to nothing. I barely knew any of my classmates before leaving this summer. Over the course of the three weeks we spent together we had a lot of time to bond and by the end of the trip I’d say, for the most part we all left as friends. Friends that will forever share three weeks of unforgettable memories and experiences together, from plane and train delays to line dancing on a stage we found in Burgos and spending six days walking 73 miles of the Camino de Santiago.

Students sitting on wall above rocks in Muxía
Sitting on the wall above the rocks in Muxía

All of these amazing things abroad and still on my last couple days in Santiago the feeling of homesickness really started to take hold. I was ready to see my family and be back in my hometown. Now that I have been home for a couple weeks, there hasn’t been a day that I haven’t thought about a memory of Spain. And although I’m glad to be home for a while, I can’t help but start to think of my next trip abroad. I don’t know where or when yet but when I figure it out, I know I’ll be capable of actually doing it. Going on this trip showed me that I’m capable than a lot more than I think, whether it be dealing with the unexpected or waking up before the sun to walk to the next town.  And probably one of the most important things going on this trip did for me was open the door to get out and experience the world, especially when it involves getting out of my comfort zone.