A wise friend of mine once coined the term “time limbo” referring to the time you gain or lose when you switch time zones. Currently it is 11 am here at home in Kansas City, while it’s 6 pm Madrid time, a whole 7 hours ahead of us. I thought my jet lag was bad when I landed in Spain and slept for about three days straight. Let me tell you though, this backwards jet lag and reverse culture shock is even worse. After traveling for over 24 hours to finally arrive back in the states last Saturday, I am happy to say that Madison and I arrived home safely but are struggling to get back into the routine here. It’s going to take awhile to get back to normal but it’s going to take even longer to drop the abroad lifestyle that I have grown to love so much. I’ve been putting off this final travel blog/summary/commencement post because I won’t accept the fact that I’m no longer there. It is the most mixed emotions I have ever felt in my entire life and its tougher than ever to accept that it’s really over. With that being said @DUfriends I’ll see you guys on new year’s for Decadence! To everyone I met, whether it was in Madrid or Dublin, whether you’re from London or Morocco, it’s not goodbye it’s see you later! I will truly never forget you all and every beautiful thing that has happened in the past few months. Thanks for making it so damn spectacular.
I’m going to start off with a rather jumbled up mess of my thoughts on everything there and coming home, my likes and dislikes, those things I missed and others not so much. I’ll miss the convenience of the metro, but I have also really really missed driving. Pulling up to the door in the driveway of a home. HOMES! I have missed big, old houses, people’s homes, so much. Madrid is full of apartment complexes, it’s a big city and thats the way they live along with most of the places I visited. I missed American food so much but I’m already missing croissants, churros and Milka chocolate. It is so different going back to full English being spoken around me. Random people walking by and not staring at me blankly for no apparent reason. I am desperately missing the cheap wine and I mistakenly only packed two bottles in my suitcase. I have missed American outlets and not having to use my oversized portable charger in order to plug something in. It is truly the little things in life that we take most for granted.
I will never forget that kid in Morocco who walked out to the dunes with a toilet paper roll (we had perfectly normal toilets at our campsite) and when asked what he was doing replied “I want to be able to say I took a shit in the Sahara.”Or the old lady on the side of the road in Lisbon who we watched pull down her pants, see that five people were staring at her, and proceed to relieve herself in the middle of the street. The infamous hamburgesa in Salamanca that may or may not have turned out to be rat meat (never trusted a hamburger in Spain after that.) That one Wednesday at Goya where we found ourselves dancing with African royalty and surrounded by his body guards. Monday nights in general, Wednesday’s too and of course, Kapital, the excessive 7 floor nightclub that was equivalent to a Vegas nightclub. When Brittany and I danced with Star Wars characters at Gabana and ended up in way too many of the club’s featured Facebook photos. When Audrey saved me from being pick-pocketed in Florence and I yanked my wallet from what looked like a 12-14 year old girl. The BlaBla car we took to Rome with a man named Frederico and his girlfriend. Madison, Audrey and I were crammed into the backseat but still managed to receive a great review for “being so quiet during the trip!” aka sleeping the entire time. My first hostel experience in Rome when all three of us got put into separate mixed dorms and all ended up being the only girls in our rooms. Then going on a pub crawl with our hostel and managing to make great friends with our questionable bunkmates @Madison never forget Ross. In Paris when me and Ethan were running late to our Eiffel Tower tour and got caught in the middle of a marathon and literally ran with the runners to make it there on time (I was in a dress and heels I might add.) Playing soccer with the sweetest little boy on the beach in Portugal, probably top 3 happiest days of my life. Spending a full day at a bar in Dublin playing Monopoly. The list goes on and on…
Next semester I will return to the University of Arkansas where I’ll finish up my last semester and graduate in May. I promise to take more advantage of the beautiful hikes and scenery the natural state has to offer, because I know I’ll be craving more adventure. Writing this particular blog post has definitely been my toughest. Looking back on the past 3 and a half months, I am in denial that this amazing journey has come to an end. BUT I know that it won’t be my last so here’s to tomorrow and every day after that. On that note, I am elated to be home for the holidays with my family and friends and I want to thank everyone for following along on this incredible journey! It’s been “dumb lit” as Colby would say.
Happy Holidays everyone!!