Student changes following international travel


As the sun set over my final day in Spain, I came to a halting realization- things would never again be exactly as they were at this moment. With my 12 day trip nearing its’ end and the seemingly impossible task of re-packing my suitcase finished, I begin to reminisce on the things I had experienced. I thought about the people I had met, the sights I had seen, the culture I had immersed myself in, and with all of these thoughts colliding, the realization came.

Because I was someone whose out of country experience consisted only of Mexico and Canada, being 4,937 miles away from all of my responsibilities and problems made them seem, in the large scheme of things, small. I couldn’t possibly imagine returning to life as it was before, just holding in me this knowledge of life in another culture. I felt changed as a person. It wasn’t only because of the overwhelming amount of history Spain possesses, or even the fact that every meal seemed to be better than the last, but it was the life itself. There was a way about the people that seemed endlessly more interesting. Whether it was the fashion or the unspoken vibe that they’re immensely cooler than you, something about the people made me unbearably curious. I wanted to know everything from their everyday lives to their innermost thoughts, and there were many times when I considered jumping onto the Metro heading the opposite direction and becoming one of them myself. I felt more like myself and there was never a moment I felt more free than walking through the streets of Barcelona, with gelato in one hand and euros in the other.

Although all this very well might be a side effect of “the grass is always greener on the other-side” syndrome, the trip ignited something in me that left me dying to hop onto another plane and, much to my GPA’s dismay, painstakingly difficult about doing my schoolwork. It opened my mind to other cultures and even slightly improved my Spanish. (Slightly.) Without a single doubt in my mind, I don’t want that to be my last experience in an international terminal or the life of another country.