Countless times before leaving, I was told that I’ll have days that are full of adventure, some of the most memorable of my life. And then, I’ll have days just like my day to day life in America, where I go to school, come home, do homework, eat dinner, and go to bed. That has become very apparent to me in the past few weeks.
I’ve been on fall break, and my host family has taken me to several events locally! We’ve also spent quite a few days just hanging out at home with my host family! I’ve learned to find the joy in and appreciate both.
Last week, I spent a few days in Hamburg. Last summer, my sister and I with a friend of my mom’s in Hamburg for a week, and by the time we packed our bags to leave, I knew I had to come back to Germany.
Traveling to Hamburg was my first time traveling internationally. I remember marvelling at the idea that I was then 4,000 miles from home, my feet on land where another language was spoken and another culture was shared, and for that it holds significance to me. But my return to Hamburg made me realize that it holds much more significance. It was where my desire to study abroad began. It was where I first got to experience what it was like to truly use a language I had been working at, and the pride that comes with it.
I’ve had some homesickness lately. I knew it was coming at some point. I’ve had a few days where I just miss America, and the familiarity that comes with being surrounded in my native language, where I know the routine of my family and am certain of my relationships with my friends. But those days in Hamburg reignited something in me. They helped me remember why I started this in the first place. But most importantly, they helped me understand that I’m here because I’m meant to be. It was great to have that reminder, and I’m looking forward to getting back to school and continuing with this year.