Home, sweet home.

30 Nov

foggy-skyline-blvd

 

I am pleased (or sad?) to inform that I am back in Mexico! It took me a few days to get over the jet lag and to accept that no one speaks french, but I’m enjoying my bed, my house, my food, and the Christmas spirit. Nevertheless, I already miss Paris and I am starting to regret coming back to Monterrey because let’s face it, Europe is so much cooler. But whatever, c’est la vie, everything happens for a reason, or at least I like to think that when I’m starting to regret something.

One thing I’ve learned  about being abroad takes initiative, responsibility, and a great deal of courage to face with a lot of challenging situations in your own. You have to adapt to different habits and responsibilities, a different culture and language, a new transportation system, and new people that won’t necessarily be nice. You have to detach from technology and other luxuries, learn to appreciate the services that others usually provide for you (cleaning, washing, feeding, etc), and you get to learn the importance of having manners and being thankful. Being abroad is not easy and it’s not for everyone; it’s frustrating, challenging, and sometimes it can be very scary (specially when you take the metro by yourself after 12 am). I’m sure that by reading all of these you may think that an experience like thins sounds like the worst idea possible and everyone that does it is a masochist and completely crazy, and that is completely true. But living an experience like this is also the most rewarding and incredible thing you could ever do.

When you are alone you learn that you are capable of so much more than you know. There are no parents to get you out of trouble, no housekeeper to buy your groceries, make you lunch, wash your clothes, or clean your room. There is nobody to give you a curfew, check if you got home too drunk or if you didn’t get home at all. You have to make all of these decisions by yourself and it is really easy to choose badly because you simply have all the freedom to do so. The hard part is finding the responsible adult in your teenage body and deciding to do things the right way, or at least try. You’ll meet a lot of people, some bad and some good, and you will have to figure out which is which because being taken advantage of is really easy . Those that are good will probably become the best friends you could ever imagine, they’ll become your family while you’re away, and will make you realize that most of your friends back home are not what a true friend should be. Being away makes you appreciate the small things like someone who’s truly nice and loyal, someone that is polite and has your best interest at heart, someone who is worth keeping in your life. You will also realize how important it is to say please and thank you and how manners can change absolutely everything. You’ll be impressed to know that you are an independent adult and you can survive and travel by yourself without taking taxis or asking for directions, you still know how to use a paper map and language limitations won’t defeat you. You realize that you can, you really can do much more than you thought you could.

The best part about being abroad by yourself is that you don’t realize how much you changed and how much you grew until you are back in the comfort of your home and in your normal routine. That’s when you really know that you will never stop pursuing the opportunity to keep growing and learning, you become a wanderlust junkie. As for myself, I’m already thinking about where I want to go next.

-J

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Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog is a digital youth culture magazine dedicated to your stories and ideas.

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