For five months, I lived in Alicante, Spain, a coastal city on the Mediterranean Sea. During this time, I went classes at the local university, lived with a host family, met people from all over the US and Spain, had an internship, ate local food, and traveled. Lots of it.
While living there, I had up and down experiences. Becoming elated over finding English books in a Spanish bookstore, sitting in cafes to book trips, keeping up a conversation with my host parents for hours, meeting life-long friends – all moments that pulsed my heart with joy.
Being abroad was not all butterflies and rainbows, times arose where my only desire was to return home. The constant strain to converse with anyone, living in an unfamiliar city with unfamiliar people, adjusting my schedule to accommodate others, constantly being outside my comfort zone – all times that made me wish to be waking up in my twin bed in the basement of my parents’ house.
Being constantly out of my comfort zone eventually broke me, and I had to reconstruct it. That zone grew, and by the end of my stay, I could spark up a conversation with my host parents after I woke up and would take daily strolls through the city by myself. I thought when my departure date arrived, I would be ready to leave, but I wasn’t. My last day in Spain, I was laying out at Playa de Postiguet, soaking up the rays and smell of the sea before I left. I sat thinking about what I had obtained, and what I would leave behind. Tears leaked from my eyes. It’s not time to leave yet.
But I returned, and have been living back in the states for two months. There’s not a day that passes where I do not long to be back in Spain, eating gelato on the beach or eating paella with my host family. I am missing the adventure, which is why I made this video. To remind myself what pushing oneself outside his or her comfort zone does, and to continue to pursue these experiences in the future.