Sometimes you forget how much you love your home until you’ve actually been away

This post is a few weeks too late, but I feel that it is the perfect time to write it. I spent the holidays with family and friends retelling my adventures throughout Spain–and the mini (also terrifying) trip to France. I chose the worst time to visit Paris, not knowing what terror events would unfold. Spain was my number one travel destination, but I have always wanted to visit Paris as well. As I was watching Disney’s Ratatouille the other night, I was taken back to my time in Paris. Instead of seeing the lively lit up city, with bolstering restaurants and the Eiffel tower lit up at night, my flashback was one of mourning and little to no sightseeing. On the bright side, I will return, and for a much longer stay, in place of a weekend getaway.

Studying abroad has made me come to this conclusion:Sometimes you forget how much you love your home until you’ve actually been away Originally I wanted to study abroad for the entire academic year; however, I changed my decision. I wasn’t homesick, but my reasons for coming to Spain for an entire academic year did not seem relevant to me anymore. I really wanted to learn Spanish and improve my fluency. Now that I am back, I really do not think I improved that much. I’m learning even more in my Spanish Conversation and Composition class I am taking this semester than by taking the intensive and semester Spanish class at Carlos III.

I do not regret my experience but if I had to do it again I would change a few things so that I would fulfill my wish of learning the language. Possibly by living with a host family and doing a program strictly to learn Español. I would not be taking my upper division Business Core Classes (which I did :/)

I used to think that there was no adventure in the states. That I already saw everything America had to offer. In August I wanted change, I was bored. However, my attitude now has changed. My country has so much to offer. There is so much I have not yet seen. Two weeks ago I visited the Pocono mountains with my boyfriend. It was beautiful. Lakes, mountains, snow, ice….you name it. It was a winter wonderland!

At the age of twenty, I have only been to a few states on the East Coast. There are still approximately 42 states I still need to see. Instead of backpacking throughout Europe (which sounds so intriguing, and is still on my bucket list) maybe I should road trip America to experience the cultural diversity. After all, America’s a melting pot! I want to visit New Orleans where French, African and American cultures fuse together. And of course to take part in Mardi Gras and eat some delicious Gumbo!

A few things that I know now from my experience abroad: I love to blog, which is something I hope to continue in the future, and I want to continue to travel, whether I find myself in the next state over or on the other side of the world in Taiwan.

Adiós España, hasta muy, muy pronto!

Tiffany will be studying Business and Spanish at Universidad Carlos III in Madrid, Spain. She hopes to improve her Spanish skills during her time abroad, meet new friends, try a lot of new and exotic foods, travel, and experience different cultures while taking many photos along the way.

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