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Friday, August 15, 2014

Reflections before leaving



My soon-to-be apartment-mate shared a Thought Catalog post with me this morning which really struck me. It was written by a woman who had studied abroad, and she shared 9 tips for others studying abroad. This was a great read because it wasn't just some travel site giving constant warnings about keeping your passport and valuables safe, and telling you to take lots of pictures. It was from personal experience.

The first tip is to make a list of things you love about home before you leave. She wrote this in regards to when your time abroad is ending, but I feel that I should put into words how I am feeling as the countdown quickly winds down to our departure Wednesday night.

First, I am completely consumed by thoughts and sadness about leaving my home and my family. I have always been a big family girl; family is such a big part of my life. During my four years away at college, I would say I talked with my family at least a couple times a week (if not more). It didn't matter if I had a lot to tell them or not, we just always talked. The most amount of time I was away from home was a couple months when I could not make it home for a long weekend. So this is going to be a HUGE adjustment for all of us. My family, including my tough, Harley Davidson motorcycle-riding father, are starting to be more forthcoming about their emotions of their "baby girl" leaving to go so far away for so long. I am feeling extremely sad about being so far away from home as my not-so-little brother goes into his freshman year of high school! I worry about all that I will be missing, but I know I am going to be (or at least trying to) talk to my "man of few words" brother and parents to get updates often.

Another thing I love/am going to miss is Chatham itself. Driving around my small town has been a part of my routine since being a high schooler with nothing better to do. When home, I am never more than 2 minutes away from a beach. They are always there to go for a drive to and sit, think, and reflect. I love the sounds of the waves crashing, birds calling, crickets chirping, and everything else I hear and see in my small, quiet town.

I am going to miss certain restaurants and foods that I can only get at home on Cape or in Boston.

I am REALLY going to miss my friends. I can't even get too into the fact that I will be away while my best friend from childhood gets married. I was supposed to be in the wedding as one of her bridesmaids, and every time I think about how I will not be able to be there, I break down in tears. But I am so lucky that she is such an amazing friend and basically told me that I needed to go and not miss out on this amazing opportunity and experience, and that there will be plenty of other events in the future for me to be a part of.

I am going to miss celebrating all the major holidays with my family and friends in our small town. This will be my first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years not celebrated at home with family and friends, and I know that is going to be very difficult for me.

But these are all things that I will be able to look forward to coming home to in 10 months when I am leaving Greece and probably won't want to!

That's all for now.
Thanks for reading!

-Brittany

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