Home may be closer than you think
Start writing a post

Home may be closer than you think

Coming back home after my first year studying abroad was far from what I expected

Home may be closer than you think

Don't get me wrong, after my freshman year studying abroad, I felt the need to go back home with my family, friends, and my country's culture, but it wasn't until the end of the spring semester that I wanted to go home so badly. I had these huge expectations of how I will feel coming back home after a year. How different I will see my friends, family, and city. I knew I had changed from head to toes, and I was nervous about how my parents were gonna see me. The last weeks of the spring semester went fast, volleyball practices were over, and the only thing I was missing was my finals. I was excited to travel, I had so many stories and memories to share with my family and friends that I couldn't wait. I brought them gifts from my college, to show them that I haven't forgotten them at all.

The flight was long, I had to 2 connections to get to Colombia and the airports were packed. Finally, when my flight was ready to take off, I realized that my first year of college was over. It was a year ago when I decided to study abroad to pursue my dreams of playing volleyball at a higher level and to double major in psychology and chemistry to become a neuroscientist. I was so focused on my way back to Colombia, that I had forgotten how far I had accomplished.

When I arrived to Colombia, it was dark, I couldn't see the stars with all the lights coming from the city. The flight attendance was telling us the current temperature, 12 degrees Celsius, and the time, 11:30 pm. I was back in the mixed weather of Bogota, where the mornings are sunny, the afternoons are rainy, and the nights are cold. After I picked my suitcases, I was ready to meet my family. As I was getting closer to the exit door, I could see my parents holding a huge poster with my name and my cousins carrying balloons that said, "Welcome back". I run to give my parents a huge hug, I was finally home. All my fears, insecurities, and anxiety left my body. I felt secure and safe. We stayed all night talking about my first year in the states and how crazy it has been.

The next weeks went pretty fast, I met with my closest high school friends, we went to our favorite restaurants, to the most fabulous clubs and we even decided to take a trip to the beach. Lowkey, I felt I was living in a bubble, everything was almost as I imagined. Being again with my friends felt as we never left apart as if we were in high school all over again. But bubbles do not last forever. A month after, most of my friends started traveling outside the country or to other cities. They were hanging out with their group of friends, and even when I tried to be part of their plans, I felt odd. It wasn't my life anymore. Bogota felt distant from what I remembered it. I didn't find going to the mall as exciting as I did before, people were in a rush all the time, the traffic was a nightmare that I didn't want to drive around, and everyone seemed busy.

One afternoon I decided to take my parents out for dinner to one of my favorite places, where local artists and singers gather around in a small market and sell their last jewelry collections or play their last songs. As we walked by the market, I felt calm. I could appreciate the time I was spending with my parents. I could see how my dad was growing old, how his mustache went from half black and white to fully white. How his hair was still black without any white hair popping out, but his face was looking more tired than I remembered. On the other side, my mom looked radiant, her hair was longer than last time I saw her, she started wearing more colorful clothing that made her look happier and younger. When we sat at the restaurant, I could notice how my parents were still madly in love. They looked as happy and proud as the time they left me in the airport when I was leaving for the U.S. I didn't feel a rush to tell them all about my freshman year as I felt before. We talked about my dad's job and how demanding it had become. My mom mentioned how she is still helping my high school with their social events and how she likes to hang out with her college friends for a cup of coffee once a week. And then it hit me, I didn't realize how their lives had changed after I left. Lately, I was so focused on how people were going to see me, that I forgot how different I was going to see them. We finished eating and decided to go for a walk before driving home.

Home was not going back to my house or Bogota, it was going back to the people I love and I'm close with. The next two months I spent it with my family and close friends, we went hiking, I decided to get matching tattoos with my cousins, and just enjoy everyone's company. Beckley, West Virginia was becoming my home too, I met the most wonderful people from all over the world. I had the best volleyball team I could ever ask for and even if it was a small town, it felt cozy and warm. I understood that coming back to Colombia with my family, was a way to recharged batteries for the next challenges I was going to face in college. When the moment came again, I packed my suitcase with new goals and good wishes, I was prepared for my sophomore year. And out of everything I felt calm to go back to my new home.

Coming home after studying abroad

Being an international student always creates the expectation of coming back to their country and find their home completely unrecognizable. People usually focus on feeling homesick, but actually the reaction of being home can create more shock, as nothing has stayed the same.

From Your Site Articles
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

In an already unprecedented political landscape, things aren't looking so bright for mail-in voters heading into November's election. In 46 states and Washington D.C., post offices received a warning that mail-in ballots may not be counted on time to count on election day, according to a report by the Washington Post.

Keep Reading... Show less

"New Girl" is one of the best sitcoms of all time. Honestly, it is so much fun to watch, so much fun to relate to, just all around a great show.

Not only is a great show, it has so many different great settings, obviously including the loft. If you live by Nick Miller quotes and desperately tried to learn how to play "True American," you need to buy these things because you are a true "New Girl" fan.

Keep Reading... Show less

You know those items you've been pinning to your Home board on Pinterest for [insert amount of time]? Well, it's officially the moment to turn that wishlist into a married life reality, and it's going to be SO fun.

But, before you get to shopping and adding things to your upgraded bridal wishlist (sorry, Pinterest, it was lovely while it lasted), you'll first want to decide where you want to open your registry (or registries, if you want options). Here are 17 of the best websites and stores to consider saying "I do" to for your wedding registry, to have and to hold for as long as people are buying you wedding gifts.

Keep Reading... Show less

If you've ever been in the dating game, or currently are, chances are you've had a date gone wrong. These are often times super embarrassing, but they are always funny to look back on.

Keep Reading... Show less

I just recently got engaged and planning a wedding during a pandemic is actually kind of a nightmare.

A lot of venues are taken for 2021 because of corona brides and grooms who have had to reschedule their weddings and the same goes for other vendors and literally everything else.

Keep Reading... Show less

While promoting her most recent movie, "Work It," Sabrina Carpenter has divulged some of her favorite beauty products to interviewers.

Keep Reading... Show less

When I say we can't stop thinking about the relationship advice Miley Cyrus dropped on "Call Her Daddy" today, I mean it literally.

Her truth bombs hit me (and most who listened) like a wrecking ball and coupled with the release of her new song "Midnight Sky," we're going to need some time to process the greatness. In case you haven't listened yet (what are you waiting for?), here are 10 relationship tips Miley shared that we should all live by for the rest of time.

Keep Reading... Show less

Founders Of Color: Rec Room's Dre Taylor On What Blackness Can Look Like And Not Working For Free

"It mattered to me that when we were depicting racial diversity for Rec Room, we showed the broad spectrum of what Blackness can look like."

Rec Room

The world of sustainable fashion is inundated with marketing gimmicks, false advertising, and large corporations cutting corners — Rec Room is the pure antithesis of that.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 At-Home Therapy Tips You Need, No Matter What Your Therapy Routine Is

Whether you're in a Zoom session or live-chatting, make sure your home therapy space is good to go.

No matter what stigmas you held about therapy before this year, I'm sure 2020 has affirmed that we could ALL use a nice long therapy session. Between wildfires that took over an entire continent, a global health crisis, and what's sure to be one giant circus of an election in the United States, we need help and we need it now.

The fact of the matter is, therapy has been a helpful, valid resource long before the world decided to become one giant dumpster fire. Having a safe space to discuss what's going on in your life, worries you have, and struggles you're facing has become a very normal thing for individuals' mental health.

Keep Reading... Show less

Dunkin' just announced that they'll be releasing their fall menu earlier than ever — set to debut on August 19 — and that it'll include new menu options this season, including a new signature pumpkin spice latte. Let me just say, Starbucks has some fall-menu competition now.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments