As much as it hurts for me to say this it has been 2 months since I left St. Louis. Two months ago I said goodbye to my family and friends back home, and began my journey in Europe.
I had no idea how this short time here would impact me. Leiden has changed me in ways I can’t even explain.
Before coming here I had never been away from my mom for more than a month and now it’s been two months! It really is crazy to see how fast time goes by when you’re having fun. It doesn’t feel longer than a week. And yes, I am traveling a lot and seeing and experiencing so much, but it is so bittersweet to see it all come and go.
I have traveled to 5 different countries in two months. I’ve seen so much of the world that people only dream of seeing. I have made friends from all over the world. Ate some of the best food. I have learned so much about other cultures. Most important, I have learned so much about myself. I feel forever grateful and indebted to the things and people who made it possible for me to be here.
It brings tears to my eyes knowing that I only have 2 months left. I know my bank account will be happy, and my parents will be happy knowing I am safe at home, but I just can’t bare the thought of leaving the place that has significantly changed my life.
When hearing about my sisters study abroad experience, I only wished that I could have something remotely close to that, and now I do, and this is only the beginning.
It will be hard for my parents to comprehend, but being here has struck the same bug that my sister had when she was here two years ago. The longing to see the world and all the magnificent things in it. There is nothing like the feeling of seeing the world. And there is nothing like experiencing it with people you have grown to love and have become your home away from home.
I still cannot fathom the thought of leaving Leiden and returning to back home. Even though it is far away, I can already sense the reverse culture shock I will experience when I return.
In honor of my two months being here, some pictures to recap my adventures thus far.
After this week, I go to Rome, the coast of Italy and Berlin, Germany. I can’t believe how much time has gone by and how much is still left to come. But until then, I think I will stay in Europe a little longer.