I’m Not the Same…

Hello again! After a lot of thought, I have decided to continue this blog even though classes are over. I think it is a great way for me to share some of my life with the internet. There isn’t going to be a schedule for my posts. Instead, I am just going to write whenever I feel like it. 🙂

It has only been 11 days since I left Europe, but it already feels like a lifetime ago. I would like to take the time to talk about adjusting back to life after being abroad. Adjusting to life back in the states has probably been one of the hardest parts about studying abroad. Who would’ve thought? Not me. I figured it would be the easiest part because I was going home. Boy was I wrong. Everything that seemed so normal before I left somehow seems foreign now. The streets, buildings, and even people are different. Not in a dramatic way, but just enough to make the adjustment difficult.

Telling people about my experience abroad has been more difficult than what I originally thought. I can easily tell people where I went, what I did, and who I was with, but they won’t fully understand what happened. This is partly due to me being a terrible story teller, but it also has a lot to do with the fact they weren’t there. The only people who 100% understand are those who were with me. With this in mind, all of those memories from being abroad are things I will never be able to relive. Even if I revisit Paris, the memories won’t be the same because the people would be different and I would be different.

The most significant thing that has changed while being abroad is me. I have changed. The way I view the world has been shifted. Before, I used my imagination when picturing what life is like outside of America. Now, I have concrete examples from the different European countries I visited. I view the United States differently too. We are not superior over any other country. We do not have the right to think better of ourselves just because we were born in America. Every country has people and each one of those people is a human. Now, don’t get me wrong, the U.S. will always have a special place in my heart, but I understand we do certain things differently or wrong. We are not perfect. Nobody is.

I believe we are constantly changing. These changes can be for the good or the bad, but we can’t be afraid to change. Changing allows us to mature and ultimately become the person God wants us to be.  I am not the same person I was four years ago, and I am so thankful for that. Traveling definitely changes people. It allows us to views things in a different way and expand our understanding of life. Part of me is sad to be home, but the other part of me is thankful because it has allowed me to really figure out who I am as a person. I can only hope that every person reading this has the opportunity to travel abroad at least once in his/her life. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

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