Going back…

I’ve been home now for fifteen days.  Fifteen glorious, relaxing, chilly, happy days.  I have ten more days until I go back to Venezuela.  I have loved the time that I’ve gotten to be home.  I couldn’t be happier that I had three and a half weeks to spend with people that I love so much.  I’m also really excited to go back to Venezuela.

As always, I’m dreading the insane, 24-ish hours of travel.  But I do miss my friends in Venezuela, and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t miss being a teacher and my students.  I’ve learned so much in the past four months about a different culture, a different language, a new profession, and myself.  All of that learning is seriously exhausting though.  It has been amazing to spend time at home immersed in the community that always has, and will always be, my home with people that I love more than I realized was even possible.

One thing that has struck me so much about being home is how much has changed and how much has stayed the same.  Reconnecting with people that I’ve not spoken to in months has been (mostly) an amazing experience–it was as if I didn’t realize how much I missed them until I saw them.  It has also been hard because I’m not privy to every single detail of my loved ones lives anymore.  The other day I was at my best friend’s house while she was paying a bill and I was so happy–I miss the routine, mundane, everyday aspects of her life now.  It’s so strange to not have met one friend’s new boyfriend or to not know what their children’s favorite movies are at the moment.

As 2015 draws to a close, I can say that I’m really happy with the life that I’ve built for myself.  At this time last year, I was miserable and trying so hard to cope with all of the things that were frustrating me.  Now I’m both sad to be leaving my home and excited to be going back to my second home. At this time last year, I never would have guessed that this would be my life.  I have done so much this year that I thought was going to be too hard to do–and it’s been really, really hard.  It has also been really, really scary.  The first time that I boarded the plane to Venezuela I thought that I was going to cry the entire way there.  When I finally landed and made it through security and could not see the people that I was supposed to be there with (I apparently was the last one off the plane but got my bags before everyone else managed to) or the people who were supposed to meet me there, I thought that I was a goner.  I have such vivid memories of driving to my residence for the first time–seeing stray dogs on the street and dilapidated buildings and trash in the street and wondering if I had seriously thought this through.

Now I’m at a point where I’m looking forward to what 2016 has to bring–the places that I’ll go and the people that I’ll meet and the people who will always stand by my side irregardless of what continent I’m on or what dreams I’m living out. Some of my big plans for this year include:

  • Actually maintaining my travel blog
  • A solo trip to Ecuador for Semana Santa
  • A trip to Colombia with a couple of friends for Carnival
  • A semi-solo road trip around the U.S.–all the way to Montana, Utah, New Mexico, and back
  • A trip to Acadia National Park (in Maine, where I live, but that I’ve not ever been to)
  • Seeing Florida Georgia Line in concert (!!!!) the one thing that I really wanted to do this summer but wasn’t able to
  • Continuing to improve my Spanish
  • Spending as much time as I can with the people that I love
  • Planning more adventures

Stay tuned for what is happening with me and we’ll see if I can manage to get it together and keep this blog updated!

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