The title of this final post detailing my experience in Portugal is fitting. Acabado means finished in Portuguese. But, am I finished with Portugal? Most definitely not. Although I cannot determine my own future, my goals for it have changed. I’d like to think that maybe the other proper term for this post should be começado, because I’ve only really just started.
Takeaways and Final Reflection
As I have said over and over again, I truly feel so grateful to have had such an amazing opportunity. I remember sitting in the advisors office over two years ago talking about my upcoming schedule and the future student teaching requirement. On a whim she mentioned the option to complete the student teaching requirement abroad. There had only been 2-3 students who had done so in the past so I really didn’t know what to expect. I turned the idea over and over in my mind and talked to friends and family who I knew had my best interests in mind. Once I came to the decision to go, I was excited! I was still nervous and knew it would be challenging but I also knew that if I didn’t take this opportunity I would regret it for the rest of my life.
Hello again! It’s been awhile, but I think it’s about time that I sit down and really reflect on the time I was able to spend studying abroad in Grenoble, France. I arrived back here in the states at the end of December, and there hasn’t been a day that’s passed without me thinking about those four months in which I was able to fully immerse myself in a new culture, a new experience, and a new way of life. Looking back now, I can really appreciate my time abroad, and reflect on everything that I gained.
“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.”- Jerzy Gregorek
It’s been two weeks since I arrived home to the cozy embrace of the PNW, fifteen days since I was in Europe, and three-hundred and sixty hours since I had to pay for public utilities. My time in the land of castles and good bread has come to a bitter sweet finish. (insert sour dough joke, I’m sure I’ll think of something.) I took a whole lot away from these wild escapades, but it’s hard to put into words the exact extent of what this time meant to me. I’ll try though, for you, mom.
Winter quarter has officially started at Western, and it has been 17 days since I said goodbye to Lyon.
I remember clearly, the feeling of waking up at 4am getting ready and calling a cab to pick me up from the Kraków hostel I was staying at, of how drowsy and half asleep, yet serious I felt. I remember walking into the cold morning air, into darkness, and feeling a light breeze. I remember the ride to the airport which seemed like it lasted forever. I remember eating not one but two Paczki (Polish donuts) as I was waiting for my flight, savoring the last taste of my culture and homeland.