Thursday, November 15, 2012

The #1 thing I've learned abroad

Tonight, I have a lot to be thankful for. First, Blogger finally updated their app and made it iPad friendly. It's about time! The new update makes typing this MUCH easier, and hopefully makes it look better too.

Second, I get to see my family so soon! My parents and little sister are coming to visit, while the rest of my siblings at home watch over the house and the dog. Some days, it feels like the last three months have flown by; others, it feels like we've been here forever. I can't believe it is already Thanksgiving, but I'm looking forward to their visit!

Classes are close to finishing and we go home in a little over a month. In that amount of time we have a lot to do -- a trip to Paris, 4-5 finals, say our goodbyes to Birmingham, and visit Scotland -- before we back to the states.

Raymond and I have learned so much about the world, and our place in it. I've realized I have an interest in business (something I've denied for three years) and have been devouring books on marketing and finance. I've also come to feel that even though the planet is so big, I can be an ocean away and still feel close to home thanks to the brilliance of technology and conversation of family.

We both miss Mexican food more than we thought possible (it doesn't exist across the ocean), and I was courageous enough to try curry. Actually, we miss food in general, and the car that makes grocery shopping easy. Going for groceries is an event that takes up half our day here.

Still, the power of travel and experience takes hold of us. Rome was simply enchanting, and the history of the ground and stone awe-inspiring. Dublin was full of music and laughter, and my Irish blood quickly fell in love. London rivals New York, and we could live there for years and never see it all.

Although I'm anxious to visit Paris and Scotland, I think there comes a time when you're ready to go home. We're very close to that point. There are a few more things for us to check off our lists, and then we will be home for the holidays.

Perhaps the most important thing I've learned about myself, even more than my thoughts on a career choice, is that the midwest is truly my home. Anyone who knows me has heard me say for years that I was going to leave Kansas for New York City, if only I found the right time or job. Now, after living so far away, I don't think so anymore.

I love Kansas, but more importantly I love my family. Living abroad has been full of adventure and excitement, but it has also been expensive and far from the comfort of home. We've been across the ocean for three months, but we could have been in New York and still felt just as far away.

The fact is, right now I can't imagine permanently moving somewhere so far away from my family that it takes a plane ride (or two) just to go home for the weekend. Maybe some day, at the right time, with the right job, but not now.

Don't get me wrong, I could travel a million places, and it would never be enough. I want to see everything, I want to learn about every culture and soak it all in. But Kansas, full of wheat fields and blue skies, will always be my home at heart.

1 comment:

  1. You will always remember this semester and there will never be another time like it, even if you go back to visit England again some day. And it took me a long time to really appreciate my native state!