En Provence 2013

Rambling Thoughts of a Study Abroad Student at Home

Well mes amis, we’ve come to the end… 

It’s been two-ish weeks and it still feels weird to be home. In many ways, I’ve snapped right back into my old self again. I’m of course speaking English 100% of the time (who else in my immediate world speaks French?!) and my vibrant vocabulary which seemed so hard to retain in Provence has returned with full force. I’ll catch myself translating my sentences into French in my head then realizing I don’t have to do that anymore. I’ve caught up with pop culture and dinners are only hour-long affairs at best. After so long of newness and comfortable uncomfortableness, I’ve molded back into my world (hopefully) gracefully. 

My family has been both wonderful and chaotic, as it always is. Christmas was lovely and after a big family vacation in Florida, I feel as though I’ve gotten four months worth of time with them. In a good way, of course. But after a huge snow storm and three consecutive days being cooped up with seven other people, we’re all kind of feeling excited for me leaving again.

I guess that’s the oddest thing about coming home; I’m ready to go back again. It seems like this, being at home, has been the dream and life back in France is real. I catch myself missing the bluest sky I’ve ever seen, the flood of light that bathes everything every day, the cobbled streets, the white bowl we drink coffee from, seeing Madame everyday and having fancy meals every night. It seems like I should be going back for spring and I’ll wake up there in a couple of days. 

It’s impossible to talk to someone who has come back from anytime abroad. That’s just become my conclusion. We’re bursting from the seams with these new experiences, new ideas, new stories. Give me hours and hours to tell you all that I learned. But of course, that’s just tiring and annoying for anyone to hear. We’re tiptoeing to see how much we can say and realizing how much we need to hear about how life has changed back home. It’s stressful.

So life goes on. I just had the biggest adventure of my life (thus far) and I’m lucky that I’m not going back to the usual repetitive cycle I’ve been used to. I think the boredom alone would break me and make me yearn for France even more. Instead, I get a new adventure at a new college in a new state with all new people! I’ve never been to Gordon College in Massachusetts and know only five students there. It’ll be a blast figuring it all out. A new location, a healthy situation. 

So I’ve got fun plans for next semester to keep me at my best to continue to grow and learn and I have exciting prospects for the future. If I got anything from this semester, I learned that I will always have a sense of wanderlust. I like being comfortable in my own culture, in fact, a bit too much, but I’ve come to appreciate and yearn for the uncomfortableness of travel. I need to meet new people, experience more cultures, go further, literally expanding my horizons. I didn’t get too weepy leaving France (well the girl sitting next to me from Marseilles to Munich might disagree) because I know I’ll be back abroad. It’s just this unshakeable feeling I have in my gut. I’m not one for a stagnant life. Be it Belgium, Ireland, Australia, or Aix-en-Provence, I’ll get there some day. 

I’ll make one last blog post before this site becomes “Maggie En Massachusetts” or something like that. (I’ve become quite used to the accountability of write things down.) But in the meantime, thanks for keeping up this long.  

 

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