Sad goodbyes and new beginnings

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moving to spain from usa

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore” Andre Gide

No matter how many times I travel abroad or move to another country, the goodbyes don’t get any easier. I am so happy that I have the opportunity to live in Spain, but when I am about to go through security at the airport, all I want to do is cry and stay at home. Saying bye to my mom is the hardest part, but leaving behind everything comfortable, everything that I am used to, is equally challenging, no matter how many times I’ve done it. I get very attached to places, which is surprising considering how often I uproot my life and resettle somewhere different. I love to nest and to settle; last year when I was really homesick, I found myself buying things like marble coasters and wall decorations!

moving to spain from usa

Nerja, Spain. It inspires me to travel more

When I was visiting friends in September in western Massachusetts where I went to college, all I could think about was how much I loved it and hoping that I could move back there one day! Living abroad is not just a fun vacation; it can be incredibly challenging and difficult (something a lot of people don’t realize), but the experience is so rewarding (for me at least) which makes it worthwhile.

moving to spain from usa

Switzerland always inspires me. Don’t you want to go here?

So when I get sad about leaving home and everything I know, I smack myself and remember that I get to live in Spain! I am living the dream! So many people tell me how much they envy me, that they wish they could live abroad too but they don’t do anything about it, which honestly, when I hear that, it makes me a little peeved. Anyone can do it-it is so easy to find a way to travel, you just need a kick in the ass to motivate you and some inspiration. Take the time and put aside the money for it, and its completely possible. There will always be 9 to 5 jobs; there will always be grad school; there will always be houses for sale and husbands to find, and children to have. But you are only young once, and what better way to find yourself and grow than to travel the world?

moving to spain from usa

Toledo, Spain. I love scenery like this.

It has taken me years to realize that self-growth comes from self-sacrifice, putting yourself outside if your comfort zone and experiencing something different. So many people spend their whole lives not doing this; comfort is easy while trying something completely new is challenging. I promise no one regrets traveling (unless they do something stupid, like drink the water in Peru or bring your passport with you everywhere and get robbed-not from personal experience haha).

moving to spain from usa

So as I go through security, I wave goodbye to my mom for the last time, dry my tears, and look forward-figuratively towards a new chapter in my life, literally towards a Starbucks (salvation) and my boarding gate. 24 hours later, I step off the bus in Logroño, and breathe in the sunny, clean air of La Rioja, my new home for the next year (well I breathe it in once I leave the fumes of the bus station). I get swept up in preparing for my new life abroad, meeting new and incredible people, planning out all of the adventures I will have an most importantly, in anticipation for all the new things I will learn. It’s what I live for.

Woah! Who knew I could be so cheesy and philosophical (and random)? I hope I didn’t bore, overwhelm, or piss you off with my musings. It sort of came out of nowhere. Since I still don’t have internet in my apartment and I haven’t started work yet, I have (too much) time with my own thoughts and for reflection. What are your thoughts on traveling and living abroad? How do you balance finding adventures and the comforts of home? And most importantly, what inspires you?

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12 Comments on “Sad goodbyes and new beginnings

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  1. Boring? Never. I loved this entry! I, like Lauren, worry that I have commitment issues. For some reason, I am always missing somewhere (and/or someone). It is perplexing, even annoying, but I think I’ve begun to realize that it’s because my life isn’t just in one place. My life is here and in Spain and in my college town and with all my friends scattered across the globe. It’s hard, but a good sort of hard, the kind that makes you ache with nostalgia but dream for that one moment in which you will meet again.

  2. I buy the funniest things when feeling homesick– throw pillows, cooking gadgets, tea pots…

    Sometimes I think I am crazy because every time I finally adjust to a place and start to love it, I leave. I’m like the typical girl afraid of commitment, but with places instead of people (being that I just got married lol).

    And I always feel closer to home by cooking. As soon as it gets a bit colder here I’ll be making mashed potatoes, mashed yams, apple crisp… all my Fall favorites!

  3. I also get somewhat annoyed when people say, “I wish I could do what you’re doing!” Ummm…you can. There’s people in our program that are 30, 40, we even had a 60 year old man last year! People with kids, people who uprooted everything because they wanted to take that chance and live their dreams. There’s always an excuse NOT to do things, sometimes you just have to get out of your comfort zone, that’s when amazing things happen.

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