“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!
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.
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?
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).
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?
12 Comments on “Sad goodbyes and new beginnings”
That reminds me I need a full-length mirror. I miss target and their 6 dollar mirrors. I don’t get how traveling can’t be a priority haha! For me it’s as important as food or books 🙂
Great post! Living abroad is super challenging, but definitely worth it. I also agree that traveling is easy enough to do if you make it a priority, just most people don’t.
It’s funny that you should mention buying throw pillows etc. I recently acquired a mirror for my studio I’ve been living in since January (it had one on the medicine cabinet but not a full body) and I’m planning on moving back home soon. When I told my dad that I got a new mirror he was all, “that doesn’t seem like someone who’s leaving France any time soon!” But I think it’s because I do the same thing – when I feel homesick I try to make this place feel more like home (plus the mirror was free! Not going to let that pass me by).
Yeah I am so glad other people feel the same way! This post was completely random-it started out as something different and sort of transitioned to my thoughts on life and travel blah blah blah. I am always afraid that people think I am too critical in terms of people who just spend their whole lives in the same place and never travel, but at the same time I understand that choice and want the same things. Like I want a family and babies and a “proper” job and house ect, just not yet 🙂 I think having big regrets when I am older about not having experienced the world now when I am young would be so tragic.
Liz, you couldn’t have said it better! Amazing things do happen when you step outside your comfort zone. I buy the weirdest s*** when I am homesick too! like tea cups and orchids. I love fall! its one of the things i miss the most. i would kill for a pumpkin spice latte or home made apple pie right now. kaley, i can totally imagine. its like we have a foot and arm in different worlds. for me, ive a got a foot in spain-with a toe in cordoba, logroño, madrid and cordoba haha, a foot in virginia with the padres and then an arm in massachusetts where i went to college. sometimes i just want all my limbs in the same place!! its so hard when you are left alone with your thoughts, but yeah i always remind myself of the big picture. its worth its worth it 🙂
I really like that you posted this. It is definitely something that I have been considering lately as well.
It was hard leaving, and sometimes the homesickness kicks in but at least we are getting out and experiencing the world. I feel like I know so many people who won’t even leave California let alone live in another country alone. It takes courage to get out the door and do it but it is worth it.