You don’t know how it happened or what decisions took you to live twelve months away from home. But eventually, everything becomes a reality.
You’re there, 12,000 km away from home and there’s no turning back. You sign your student contract, fill your bedroom with Walmart stuff, and start wallpapering the room with pictures of people you think you’re gonna miss.
Days start to go by. You meet so many people that it’s impossible for you to focus on everyone. So you try to guess who your new friends will be. Unconsciously, you will look for things that remind you of those you left behind: winks, similarities, comparisons…. honestly, anything.
And then you start hanging out with people who at first seem very different from you, and will see yourself in plans that you would never do with your old friends.
But one day, surprisingly you will wake up without that “where am I” or that “what happened to my room?” feeling. One day it just happens, you will get up and feel at home. Before, you used to think this would never happen, but it definitely does. And let me be honest, it has never felt so good to leave the comfort zone.
You start to realize that you don’t need the people you left behind so much. And you feel horrible about it. Skype calls and WhatsApp messages will start to decrease, and your friends will notice it. They’ll blame you about it, but they just don’t understand it.
Everything is incredible…. Every party, trip, weekend will be much better than the last one. Every moment with those who were strangers three months ago will become unforgettable memories. You’ll even start to think that you’ve known them all your life.
Time goes by.
You’re so happy that you don’t realize it.
But one day you look at the calendar and you see that there is only one month left to leave. And that last month you will start interpreting everything as a goodbye. That feeling will start to make you wonder why you ever decided to study abroad, and at what point you thought that you needed to miss a place so much.
A part of you will be divided forever into different parts of the world. You know that you will see some of them again, but you are also aware that it is impossible to see them all at once again.
The person who gets on the first plane will never be the same as the person who gets off from the return flight. And that’s because the person who returns from being a year abroad will be a completely new version of him or herself.
For all these reasons, I should have never chosen to miss a city, a friend, a group of people, or an experience so much. But nevertheless, it will also be the best decision I have made in my life.