Are You Ready To Come Home?
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Are You Ready To Come Home?

I'm not ready to give up my walking shoes for car keys

23
Are You Ready To Come Home?
Rebecca Rosenberg

I'm sitting in my favorite café in Aix studying for finals, knowing that in just two short days the most amazing experience of my life has to come to an end. In two short days I'll be back on an eight hour flight into NYC, back to working a part-time job and not spending all my free time traveling country-to-country.

Some people in my program can't wait to go home. They miss the normalcy of the United States that we grew up with -- showers that aren't handheld, venti-sized coffee, dessert that isn't cheese or fruit. They miss friends and family that they haven't seen in about four months now.

I miss these things too. I miss being able to take half hour showers and blast music through my apartment. I miss my dogs. I miss spending holidays with my family. But I honestly can't say that I want to go home. I've become so accustomed and adapted to Aix. I've grown to love every corner I turn on my walk to classes in the morning, grabbing fresh fruit from the market for lunch, sitting in cafés for hours on end instead of grabbing coffee to go. I've made a life here that I'm not ready or willing to give up.

I've traveled to seven different countries and countless cities throughout Europe, and it still isn't enough. Everyone keeps saying, "well if you haven't been to _____, you'll just have to come back." What if I don't? What if I'm not fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel back to Europe? And even if I do, it won't be the same. My friends will be different, cities like Aix won't be as fresh and exciting and I'll be at a completely different place in my life than I'm at right now.

So no, I don't want to leave. I love New York City dearly, and I'm excited for what lies ahead, but I wish this experience didn't have to end so soon. I wish I didn't have to board that plane in two days and give up my walking shoes for car keys and my daily coffee stop at Mana for Starbucks.

I thought I experienced culture shock four months ago when I realized breakfast didn't include eggs or pancakes, but going back home and giving up my croissants and espresso will be a much harder adjustment.

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