Where the sun sets and paints the sky in a pink hue, bison roam in long grasslands amongst wildflowers, the distant geysers billow steam into the air, and trout dance along the Firehole River’s current, is Yellowstone National Park. I drive around the park loop and hold a deep rooted sense of admiration and love for my temporary backyard, a volcanic oasis. I’ve been working in this park since the end of May, but soon my expierence here comes to an end, and it’s time to prepare for my new home in Spain. It’s funny leaving one place and starting completely fresh in another; how the heart hurts when saying goodbyes and how strange transitioning into a new routine tends to be and feel. These are things never lost on me, nor get easier the more I travel to new places.
I’ve had a wonderful summer working in Yellowstone. This summer has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, explore a plethora of places, and meet incredible people along the way. Admittedly, I am tired of some of the inconveniences living remotely has brought. Although these things are small problems in the grand scheme of things, I’m excited to not have an hour commute to get groceries, or to have working wifi and service (there are so many shows I want to catch up on…did someone say Outer Banks?). Undoubtedly, Madrid will be a completely different world than the volcanic wonderland where I currently reside. Most of my worries have been alleviated after going through online orientation, and hearing from current auxiliares. Still, I can’t help but wonder how everything plays out. What kinds of spots will resonate and be determined as mine? How will it feel living in a big city again after being in a national park? Will my Spanish skills hold up after 4 months of little to no practice? These are just a few of the things taking up space in my mind as I prepare for departure.
Life is good in Yellowstone. There is comfort in the mountains, stability and a familiar routine. Not to mention there is so much to see and do! Simply put, being surrounded by nature is when I am in my happiest state of mind. As much as I will miss the vastness of the park and the small knit community of this place, the clock seems to be ticking for this adventure. There can be no time for sadness, because Madrid, the beginning of something new beckons, and I am left with only gratitude for a summer well spent. (Regardless, it’s certain I’ll be an emotional wreck with plenty of waterworks once I leave this place for good).
So reader, as there are only a few more days in Yellowstone, I am cherishing everything, knowing as soon as I go home my time consists of finishing up logisticals before arrival in Spain. Pushing the realities of traveling out of my mind for now and soaking up the moment, living in the last bits of the summer sun. Lots of promising things are ahead, and of course, more updates to come, see you soon Madrid!