Things I miss about the best experience of my life:
>>>The beach. The beach at sunset. The beach 6 blocks from my home. The beach whenever I felt like sunshine and sand. The beach dogs and beach gypsies. The beach with my best friends.
>>>My host family. My beautiful, caring host family that took me in and took care of my every need, want, craving, question, costume party outfit crisis… My host family that taught me the meaning of selflessness and graciousness. My host family that cried when I left, which led me to do the same. My host family that made me feel like part of their country, part of their culture, and part of la familia.
>>>Completos. Completos and churros de manjar. Completos and churros de manjar and empanadas. Completos and churros de manjar and empanadas and jugo de manzana. Completos and churros de manjar and empanadas and jugo de manzana and sushi. Completos and churros de manjar and empanadas and jugo de manzana and sushi and nescafe (even nescafe).
>>>Adolfo Ibanez. Adolfo Ibanez, the university with a view. Adolfo Ibanez, the school that provided me an in-depth look at Chilean history and Latin American economics. Adolfo Ibanez, where the intercambios play soccer every Monday and Wednesday, and are so good they can beat the locals. Adolfo Ibanez, where the international department houses the best resident advisor in the world. Adolfo Ibanez, where I got to attend classes with some of the coolest people I’ll ever meet.
>>>Tercer Tiempo. Tercer Tiempo, where we watched Chile beat Ireland in the last friendly of the season. Tercer Tiempo, where we met our first Chilean friends. Tercer Tiempo, where we spent some of our last moments. Tercer Tiempo, where we accidentally ordered too many terremotos but that was okay. Tercer Tiempo, where we didn’t order a big enough chorilliana, and that wasn’t okay.
>>>Traveling. Traveling to Pucon and seeing a volcano for the first time in my life. Traveling to Saaaaantiago and seeing some amazing sights, along with Lollapalooza with one of my favorite kappas. Traveling to La Serena and stargazing with my best friend on the roof of our hostel. Traveling to the Atacama and witnessing the hottest, driest desert in the world covered in fresh, soft powder for the first time in 40 years. Traveling to the coastal cities right next door and seeing Pablo Neruda’s homes, the sand dunes of Con Con (often confused with the beautiful city of Cancun), and eating the best sushi of my life in Renaca.
>>>My friends. My friends of Chilean descent. My friends from the southwest. My friends from the midwest. My friends from the northeast. My ricky friends from Canada. My friend from Boston who turned into more than just a friend. My friends who experienced new things with me. My friends who shared the same homesickness as me. My friends who are now experiencing the same lets-go-back-chile-was-amazing attitude as me. My friends who I will see again before I know it (reunion planning ahora).
>>>My relaxation. My relaxation which led me to learn yoga and the art of zen. My relaxation due to my lack of organizational involvement and the absence of the 4 jobs I have now. My relaxation that will hopefully tie me over until my next opportunity. My relaxation that led me to learn more about myself- who I am, who I’d like to be, and what I’d like to accomplish in the next few years.
Most of all I miss seeing some of my favorite people every day, and it has finally hit me that while a reunion is VERY possible, we can never go back to those four months. That was it. Just like that it was over. I’m lucky enough to be at a training for an AIFS ambassador program right now where everyone loves to relive their experiences, and to hear about mine as well. This is as close as I will ever get to going back, and I am slowly coming to terms with it. If you have read any of my posts and are still on the fence about whether you’d like to go abroad during your four years, I’m questioning your sense of reason. So be reasonable- just go. Have a life changing experience. Relax a little. Learn a lot. Assimilate. Grow. Be independent. And let your abroad experiences change you. When you come back, you’re gonna miss it, but you’re also gonna be pretty happy with the new you.