Adjusting to Life Back Home

Hello for the final time everyone,

Well this is it, my last blog post to officially wrap up my study abroad experience. It may sound strange to say that I’m still blogging about studying abroad, since I have already been back home for more than a few weeks. But in reality, the experience hasn’t ended for me just yet. Living in Madrid these past few months has left a permanent impression on me that I never thought it would. When I returned home, I was undoubtedly extremely excited and happy to see my family and friends again. But what I found was that instead of trying to catch up to speed on what I had missed out on while I was away, all I could do is reminisce on my time abroad. It truly seems surreal to be back, and as cliche as it may sound, it really does feel like just yesterday that I was getting packed up and ready to begin my journey abroad. Yet as dream-like and amazing as Spain was, now it is back to reality. I knew that this would be a time I would  inevitably have to encounter, but I have to admit that it does feel a little strange getting back into the swing of things. I didn’t expect to encounter as many culture shocks and adjustments when coming back, but traveling really did provide me with a more expanded horizon of perspectives, which can get confusing when jumping from one culture to another in such a short period of time. Regardless, I have my family and friends to support me, so it will be an adjustment process that should go smoothly. While I may soon be fully back into the flow of reality here at home, I will always hold my experiences in Madrid deep in my heart and mind, since it is those experiences that have made me a better person.

Looking back on everything, while there are certainly more places that I wish I could have visited, I am beyond grateful and beyond satisfied with the experiences that I had, and memories that I made. This was so much more than a simple trip to another country. I learned more about myself that I ever thought I could, became so much closer to my girlfriend who shared every step of the experience with me, and have gained perspectives and knowledge that I cannot wait to share with others and apply to my future. If I haven’t made the message clear enough in my other blog posts, IF YOU ARE EVEN SLIGHTLY CONSIDERING STUDYING ABROAD, TAKE THE CHANCE AND JUST DO IT! I cannot emphasize enough how much it can change your life.

For those loyal readers who have taken the time out of their busy days to read my posts, I thank you deeply. This was definitely something I had very little experience with, so I hope these posts were at least slightly entertaining, or at the bare minimum readable. Being able to document my journeys while abroad was a great way of reflecting on what I’d done, and I hope in some way or another, I took you all on the journey with me. Although this may be my last post here, it is absolutely not the last time I will be visiting Madrid, or Europe as a whole for that matter. Furthermore, although I’m not too sure how long this blog will be up to view, my hopes are that these memories I’ve shared stick with some of you, to some degree. And if by some chance they can influence someone else to study abroad, then my job will have been completed. So instead of saying adios, I’ll end it like I always have.

Hasta Luego,

Aaron Marrero

Aaron, a Political Science major and International Relations Minor, has wanted to experience a Study Abroad opportunity in Europe, with hopes of also enhancing his Spanish-speaking skills. He is thrilled to take political and international courses in Madrid, Spain this upcoming semester!

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