Study abroad: the aftermath

I was warned from day one. I was warned that it would be bittersweet. After six months of galavanting around the continent of North America defined by nothing more than the seasons, flight sales and my desires, returning home is hard. The study abroad experience was more phenomenal than my literary ‘talents’ allow me to express. Being able to meet people from wonderful yet bizarre pockets of the world, ‘study’ in a different cultural setting, live like a local, and in the case of the USA, eat more burgers and drink more beer than socially acceptable is unparalleled to anything I’ve done before.

Inevitably, leaving this experience behind has left me feeling a little lost. Why? Firstly, after travelling you leave little fragments of your heart in cities and human beings that live thousands upon thousands of kilometres away. Hilarious stories, great meals, phenomenal culture and even sometimes love and suddenly it all ends. Your conversations no longer begin with, “Let’s do this”, but are replaced by, “Remember that time”. Secondly, the life return to has existed perfectly without you the whole time. You’re no longer the first person to text, or text, or tell stories to and so you shouldn’t be. The worst part of all is that home is never quite as good. Once you’ve seen more, you want more. You’re no longer content with the local pub, your same old job, or the petty gossip that once got your heart racing. You want more. But I believe that’s the intention of travel. It’s intoxicating and overwhelming and disappointing all in one whirlwind of movement. This feeling that I’m feeling is sheer proof of a magnificent holiday.

And I want more.


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