Saying goodbye to life in Europe: What to expect on your transition back

Last day in Galway

Last day in Galway

It seems like just yesterday that I was exploring the beautiful country side of Ireland and beyond with all the amazing friends I had meet. Now I am already back to real life, working, and preparing for my senior year, and all the while I find that my time abroad feels as though it was ages ago. My last days in Galway were spent visiting my favorite places to eat, walking the "prom", sitting by the Claddagh and even jumping off the famous black rock diving tower as one last hurrah. I can still remember my last night in Galway, going to my favorite pubs for one last time with all my friends I have made that I now couldn't imagine life without. Saying goodbye to all my Irish friends was by far the hardest, since I didn't know when the next time I would see them will be. I went from not wanting to leave Logan airport to being at a loss of words after stepping on shop street one last time. My director told us not to be sad but to be proud of all that we have done and that we will all come back someday, but I found it hard to say goodbye to my life here and no longer living in Europe.

My last night on Shop Street

My last night on Shop Street

I expected adjusting to life back in America would be difficult, and I especially found it hard to explain to people what my experience was like or when people asked "what was your favorite part" not knowing how to pick just one moment. It almost seemed impossible to explain to people what it was like to travel all over the world, what a night out in Galway was like or all the inside joke all my friends had about certain memories. The saddest part for me was how easy it was to get through back into the hustle and bustle of American lifestyle, stressing about the future and what is to come. I missed the laid-back and carefree lifestyle of European life and how people were always content with their simplistic life and always enjoying themselves. With constantly working and other stresses, I find myself desiring to be back in the rolling hills of Ireland, where I always felt at peace and carefree. I missed exploring new places every weekend and venturing around shop street after class or on a sunny day. I often felt that my life would never be as exciting as it was during my semester abroad, and if there was such a thing as post abroad blues, I definitely fell into that category.

Jumping off black rock diving tower

Jumping off black rock diving tower

However the other day when I was hiking in a reservation near my house on one of my days off, I was reminded of the beauty that exists in our world. After studying abroad, I realized the importance of always finding life's adventure and exploring new places. I had to leave America to realize all the beauty that exists in our country and all the things I still want to see, and that's the amazing thing about studying abroad; it opens your eyes to all the beauty that exists in our world, even in are own backyard. And although I was sad to leave it all behind, I felt so blessed for the opportunity to gain a better appreciation for our beautiful world. Studying abroad has broaden my horizons to the amazing world we live in and has made me a more open minded person. While adjusting back to the States was hard, and I now have a new list of places I want to visit and places I want to go back to, as well as forever friends. My comfort zone is now greater then I ever thought it would be and I have little ole Galway to thank for that.