With how insanely fast these 10 months have seemed to have gone, I have been having a hard time with the following general topic of discussion among most of my colleagues and friends: plans for next year/after the school year ends. My response to almost everyone lately has been, “I don’t want to talk about it!” because that is the most straight-forward truth I can give. If someone really wants to know, I explain my plans of returning to Cape Cod this summer and working, as well as my plans for subbing and commuting to college to finish my Masters. Otherwise, I just say that I’m staying for a week after the school year ends and then will be returning home. Most of my emphasis recently, however, has been about thoughts for after I get my Masters this time next year. I have been thinking a lot about how these co-workers and friends are all in their 30s and 40s and are still traveling the world while doing the job they love. I am beginning to consider looking into going back abroad after I receive my Masters next May.
A friend and fellow American-hire at ACS asked me today, while we were walking the streets of the beautiful Nafplio port on a gorgeous day, if I thought this year/program/experience I have had was worth it, what I expected, or if I would chose it again knowing everything I know now and without hesitation, I said absolutely yes. Without this opportunity, I would most likely have remained completely unaware of the international school communities; I would have stayed in Massachusetts and experienced the worst winter on record; I would have been completely unsure about my future and where I wanted to be. I would not have met the incredible people I have had the opportunity to meet; I would not have had the fascinating discussions about education, history, politics, news, the world, people, and more I have had with some great people. Most importantly, I would not have seen any of the beyond explanation, pictures do not do them justice places I have had the opportunities to visit. I honestly do not think that within the span of my entire life, I would have seen even half of the places I have been to this year had it not been for this experience. My hidden, only touched upon occasionally before this, internal wanderlust has been released. I still have a few trips coming up to look forward to, but I am already thinking about how I would also like to see more of the United States. I am already pondering where I may want to go first and when I could go. In addition, I am also trying to comfort myself with the reminder that so many of the wonderful connections I have made will still be living here in Greece for at least the next year, if not longer. Or they will be living somewhere else abroad. Either way, they allow opportunities for me to get myself back over here as soon as I can. These thoughts are sort of like my safety net right now.
At the same time, I really am also so excited to be returning home. I can’t wait to see my family and friends again. I am looking forward to spending the summer on the Cape again. I am excited to go back to Boston. I am also starting to mentally keep a running list of food and drinks I can’t wait to have again (DUNKIN DONUTS, Corner Store breakfast burritos and paninis, Panera, Chipotle (although I will miss Ancho), Short ‘n’ Sweet ice cream). The list is getting longer and longer! I am going to need someone’s help to keep me from trying to consume all of these things I have missed so much within the first days of my return. Haha.
It is because of all of these reasons mentioned above, and even more I think of each day, that I am having a difficult time starting to mentally prepare for my final month here in Greece. It’s like I am starting to split myself into two; one half is begging to stay and the other half is ready to go home! I know I will have some challenges to face when it comes to actually saying goodbyes to people and places here, and I also know I will have challenges upon my return when I go through reverse culture shock, so I am really trying to think about those things in advance now. But not too hard because I am also constantly reminding myself to live in the moment!
Just thought I'd include/end with a few pictures from my recent trip to Rhodes. :)
Until next time,