I’m not usually a person to get homesick. I like new experiences, exploring, and meeting new people. But this semester, I missed home more than I ever thought imaginable. Don’t get me wrong, I love Palma, Mallorca, but sometimes you just need your house, your family, your bed, and your dog. Nothing in life can amount to the simple joy you get from being home, especially for the holidays.
Although it was an expensive trip to go home for the holidays, I begged and eventually my parents caved. They wanted me home just as much as I wanted to be there. It’s only been two days away from them, and I already miss them again. It’s crazy the cycle we go through growing up. When you’re little, I’m talking ages two through six, all you want is your mommy. You’re afraid to leave your parents and start school. You run to them when something’s wrong. Then, once you hit the teenage years, you want absolutely nothing to do with them. Going to the movies with your mom? Social suicide. You want as little to do with them as possible. By the time college rolls around, you want them again. Becoming an adult is not easy, and you begin to realize how much your parents did for you growing up and how much you appreciate that. Right now, I’ve hit the last phase and I want as much time with my family as I can get. Two weeks home for Christmas was not enough, and I’m already sad to be without them again.
As much as I missed my family, I think I missed the American culture almost the same. Growing up in the US, we don’t realize how lucky we are. Stores are open for our convenience with long hours. Waiters are extremely accommodating to get a good tip. A variety of foods is available. One language is used, English. People do not invade personal space. We drive cars instead of riding buses. We walk fast. Credit cards are commonplace. And smoking is not. I could go on forever like this. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the differences in our cultures, it’s that I am accustomed to my own. Change is often a good thing, but living with so much change for an extended period of time it can be difficult. Being away from America for so long helped me realize how much I love it.
Now that I’m back in Spain, although I’m jet lagged and exhausted from my travels, I feel mentally rejuvenated for the second half of my abroad adventure. The first half was adjusting to life here, now I’m ready to aprovecharme, or take advantage of the time I have left on this beautiful island!