Arrival blog

My homecoming was much less hectic than when I arrived in Costa Rica. I was able to understand people and my family was there for me :). It was a rough travel experience though (plane troubles and a 5 hour delay).

I do miss having the more laid back approach to life. People here are always so busy, and it drives me crazy. I also miss the learning process involved in speaking and listening. It is easy to understand and speak here, but it was a learning experience every time I spoke or listened in Costa Rica. I miss the people I met there as well, and the crazy adventures that we had on the weekends. On the other hand, it is nice being able to just sit around and talk with people here, without worrying about the mistakes I might be making. I love being surrounded by my friends again.


I miss these people so much. I met so many fantastic students and faculty while in Costa Rica, and they were all really genuinely good people. I am so sad to leave them all behind, but we are still connected through a phone call or a facebook message, so it’s not really goodbye, it’s until the next time!!

I am so happy to see all of their smiling faces again! My friends here have been an incredible support network for me, and they continue to make me feel so much better when they are here to talk with me. I can’t imagine my life without them!!

Where the Heart is

I have been home for several weeks now, finally settling back in to my home and finally breaking my habit of wanting to speak French to poor, unsuspecting English speakers. The morning of my flight I was both terribly excited and profoundly sad to be leaving France and heading back to Oregon. Adjustment to life back in the States was very different than my adjustment in France, but there have been some similarities along the way.

When I walked through the security check in the Portland Airport, the first thing that I saw was my family waiting for me, and it was impossible to miss this:


My adorable niece Aria waiting for me in PDX

My arrival back home was a whirlwind as I arrived a week and a half before the wedding of my eldest sister. That was just enough time to throw a bachelorette party, a bridal shower, and help finish all the last minute details including hand making all the decorations and arranging all the flowers! It made for very little free time, but it was an amazingly fun and exciting day:


The wedding party! My brother Sam, myself, and my sister Ryanne stood on my sister Stephanie’s side.

Between this and my dreaded return back to work, the first few weeks didn’t allow much time to dwell on the wonderful time I spent in France. Arriving home there was some relief in the fact that I could speak my native language and that I was back around all the people from my life here in Oregon. The adjustment back home was certainly more comfortable than my adjustment in France, but I miss France in a different way than I missed the US. I knew that I would be returning home in a limited amount of time so I was able to enjoy France with minimal home sickness. I am determined to visit France again, but that trip is an unknown and possibly in the distant future and so my sadness for being away from France has lasted longer than my sadness for home. I miss all the amazing people I met in my program and around Angers; they are friends I hope to maintain contact with long term. I, of course, miss all the food! I tried to track down one of my favorite cheeses (Camembert) here in Salem, and I was so disappointed at first taste. It lacked the delicious flavor I was craving and cost almost four times as much.

Some things I truly appreciate about being home are seeing my family and friends and being back in my own culture. There are aspects of French culture I adore and will continue to miss, but there were certainly times abroad I caught myself thinking “well back home…” and so until I find a way to combine these two cultures together, I will have to miss one or the other. Studying abroad affected me in ways that I had not previously considered or thought possible, but it had broadened my person and for that I will always be thankful. I am excited to use my experience in the United States, France, and any other country I may travel to in the future (whenever that may be). My final year in school will be keeping me very busy, and after that I only imagine life to get more and more hectic, but I know I will always be able to reflect back on my summer abroad with joy, fervor, and pride.


There and Back Again

When I got back to the states, I was very tired.  I had been awake for 22 hours with only an hour-long nap on the plane, and it was about 8:30 pm in Portland.  My parents took me back to the hotel, and I fell asleep almost instantly. Unfortunately, my sleep was short-lived, and I woke up at 3:00 in the morning.  I couldn’t even go back to sleep because my body thought that it was the middle of the day.  Not amusing, jet lag, not amusing in the slightest.  I was hit with it very hard this trip (unlike my trip over to London), and it took about a week and a half for my body to get on the right time.

This arrival was very different from my arrival in London.  I had slept for a good three hours or so on the plane ride there, and when we arrived at roughly 10:30 in the morning was not sleepy at all.  I suppose it was all the adrenaline.  While I was excited to return home and see everyone, I did not have the same push behind me that was there for my arrival in London.

I do miss London.  There were so many things I didn’t get to do.  And now that I’m home, I keep finding things (interesting articles, things mentioned in books, etc.) that I wish I had known about before I went to London because I certainly would have visited them if I had known of their existence.  On my third day back, I sat down with a list of places in England and a map, and I planned out my next trip.

I would love to go back to Bath! I could spend so much time there!

That being said, I really do like being back at home.  At first, I was bored.  After being in a foreign country for a month and having exciting adventures every day, sitting around in my house all day with my parents was a bit dull.  However, I got used to the slower pace and found things to do, and although I was a bit bored at first I do enjoy being in a place where I have a set routine.  I am, ultimately, a creature of habit, despite my taste for the occasional adventure.