The Aftermath of Studying Abroad

Honesty post time. Everyone says you feel so much different after studying abroad, and in a way I do. I am back to having no set plan for after I graduate, maybe I’ll try to find work at a small publishing house, maybe at a magazine or a newspaper, but my options have expanded more than I ever thought they would have. I’m eternally grateful though, because I had such a narrow view of what I wanted to do. I’m open to more careers that I think I would be happy in. I thought after my semester abroad I would have known exactly what I want to do, but it just left me with more things on my bucket list. This includes things my friends did when they went to countries after me or places they saw that were apparently amazing, and I want to do now. I got to see the Cliffs of Moher, I took an overnight train in Italy and relaxed on the beaches of Santorini, but sometimes it seems it was all a dream, that it never actually hit me that I had been to these places.

We were told we would come back with a more open mind about issues and a greater world view. We were told we’d come back with friends across the globe. Honestly? That’s not how it turned out. I do pay more attention to the news and spend more time on social networks that aren’t Tumblr, I read a lot more and a greater variety. However, I barely met anyone, despite talking to a great deal of people but for me, three and a half months is not long enough to make a lifelong friendship. I am the worst at keeping in contact with people, I have barely talked to a single person connected to my study abroad since I came back.

I hear other people’s travel stories, how they saved someone’s life, or spent the night sleeping on a bench outside a bus station or how they couchsurfed. I’ll admit it, I didn’t do anything insanely amazing or that out of the ordinary, but I’m still enjoyed my time. I got to see amazing musicals and a play, I got to learn that I don’t want to end up in a big city- at least right away, I got to see the rebuilt Globe- something I’ve wanted to do since freshman year of high school. I got to see Italy, Greece and speak Spanish where it’s the native language.

I want to go back, but I don’t want it to be permanent or for work. I want to just go and travel for a bit. Do the things I missed, visit another island. But next on my list of places I want to go is South America. Where? I have no clue.

Don’t worry mom and dad, I’ll have a travel buddy!


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