Tales From Abroad: Leipzig Jul20

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Tales From Abroad: Leipzig

I would say I lead a pretty comfortable, normal life. I have an awesome family and the best of friends. And my years spent in college at ACU havam1e been some of the best yet. However, I also found myself craving something different, a challenge, an adventure. And that’s where this trip comes in. Early Freshman year I came across a brochure for studying abroad and applied immediately — I didn’t know the details of this trip. I didn’t know who I would be going with, or where exactly I would be going, but I knew it was something I had to do. And I did it

After months of counting-down and probably an annoying amount of giddy anticipation and excitement, I boarded a plane with a handful of semi-acquaintances leaving all my friends and my “normal life behind” — expecting everything and nothing. Culture-shocked and jet-lagged, the first week was hard as I learned to adapt to my new normal. But I did adapt, and I found myself am5falling in in love with my new home and rarely thinking my life back in Texas. Yes, I missed the mundane things like Sonic runs
with my roommate, and my heart hurt a little bit every time I got a snapchat or a text from friends telling me to come home, but I was too busy investing in my life here. I knew I couldn’t waste my time thinking about all I was missing back home.

If you know me at all, you know how extroverted I am. I need people. At school, I surround myself with constant activity and social interaction. As you can imagine, moving to a foreign country with only 14 other people was a bit of an adjustment for me. For the first time in a long time, I was out of my element. Just as much as I wanted to be best friends with everybody, I wanted everyone else on this trip to become the best of pals — or at least want to hang out together. And slowly but surely, we did. It didn’t happen the way I imagined, or at the pace I wanted, but all that matters is am4that by the end of the semester, I found a group of 14 people I
could be totally at ease with. A group of people I can’t imagine myself not knowing.

I’ve seen a lot on this trip, but when I think back on the highlights of the past three months, I mostly dwell on the friendships I made and the experiences we shared. And, luckily, I can say that many of these memories occurred while eating copious amounts of chocolate and waffles in Belgium, exploring the terraces of Pena Palace, hiking the mountains of Greece, or navigating the rocky seas of the Mediterranean. Even if I stayed in the same apartments and traveled to the same places, I will never be able to replicate this trip. It has less to do with seeing things and more to do with am3experiencing them. Though I’m excited to go back to the states and press the restart button back at home, my heart aches to leave this place and these people that have become so dear to my heart. The memories I have made and experiences I have shared are something I will never forget.