Saying Goodbye and Heading Back Home
This weekend, I will back in the United States. It’s a strange feeling, and it’s hard to fully grasp the idea of leaving Prague and returning home. My emotions are mixed. It doesn’t feel like I have been living here for almost four months. I have seen so much of Prague and explored places of Europe I never imagined I would have the chance to visit. I am so thankful for this experience. While part of me wants to stay and keep exploring, I miss home and am ready to return.
While it is time for me to return home, I’m going to miss Prague. I’m going to miss the lack of reliance on cars. The transportation in Prague was amazing. I’m going to miss how every street is beautiful in its own way and full of so much history.
Even though I will be far away from my host country I am still going to keep the experience as close to me as possible. Some people in my program live only an hour from me so I will make sure to keep in contact with them.
By keeping my friends from the program close to me, I will always have a piece of my temporary home in Prague with me always. I also want to keep myself educated by staying internationally engaged through the news, and keep my curiosity alive by planning new trips.
While I am excited to return, it is also my biggest fear due to culture shock and readjustment. I didn’t experience culture shock when I came to Prague, but that’s because it was the same ole me being dropped in a completely new place with completely new people. It was more exciting and awakening than scary. But now, new me is going to be dropped back into my old life and I’m wondering, will I still fit in there? Will this new version of me still get along with everyone I left behind? Will I still love home the way I did before? I don’t know what will happen, but the best I can do is be myself and take everything day by day.
I am excited to catch up with everyone. I will have to have a lot of coffee dates when I get back since I have four months of everyone’s lives to catch up on. I’m excited to share my story too. I knew before going abroad that home was always people for me, never a place. I do miss my hometown and Bellingham, but more than anything I crave to be surrounded by the people who make me smile and the ones who inspire me to be the best version of myself.
Even with the fear and the uncertainty and the sadness that comes with leaving, I am excited to start the next chapter of my life. I have learned so much from my stay abroad and grown as a person in ways I never imagined. I intend to put myself into everything wholeheartedly when I return and I am looking forward to applying my new found knowledge and experience to my life at home and see where it takes me.