A Redhead in the United States
So, first thing's first: I made it home. It's a weird feeling being back in my hometown after living in a city of three million people for four months. Also the adjustment from 80 degree sunshine every day, to 45 degree cloudiness was nothing short of depressing. I was and am excited to see my family and friends over the coming days, so knowing this will ease the transition back into my life in America.
As you remember, I left Buenos Aires on Tuesday, November 11th. My flights were from BA to Santiago, Chile. Then onward to JFK in New York City. My friend John was with me so I didn't have to struggle with the 20 hours of travel alone. Before leaving, my friends and I ate lunch at Tea Connection, the restaurant where we had our first meeting for our program. It's good to say that we could finish exactly where it all started. So that was a great thing.
Thereafter, I was forced to say my last "see you soons" to my host parents, Adriana and Carmelo, which was pretty sad to be honest. They have given and done so much for me, and no words could describe how lucky I am to have them. The bright side is that I know I will be back there, it is just a matter of when.
After that, I met Ben, Christi, Sarah, Lorenzo, John, and our program advisor, Gaby, at John's house. Our Delaware Crew has been together every day since July, and we've all grown very close. And again, the good news is that I know I'll be seeing them first thing next semester, and most likely sometime in between then and now.
And finally, I said "see you soon" to Buenos Aires from the airport. It's undoubtedly my favorite city in the world, as it is full of rich history, exciting places, hidden treasures, and unforgettable people. In my last weeks in BA, I really got to see all of these things and understand why it really looks like a "Lost European City." I've learned more things about Argentina and South America than any textbook could ever teach me, seen more things than ever imagineable, and embraced a foreign culture to its fullest.
Upon arrival at JFK Airport in New York City, we obviously had to go through Customs and provide our documents. Although I was not screened for Ebola, it was very weird to hear the American Border Patrol worker say "Good morning, and welcome back." It must have been the fact that it was English as to why it really resonated with me. Right after, I was greeted by my parents and brother. Naturally looking as desheveled as ever, I certainly looked like I was coming back from South America. Yesterday I also met up with two of my best friends, Dan and Bobby, to celebrate my homecoming and get my first (legal) drinks from the United States. If you remember, my 21st birthday was back in July while I was down in Buenos Aires, so we had to celebrate American-style.
Having worked towards this trip for so long and saving my money to enjoy South America is something that I am undoubtedly very proud of. How things came together with this entire experience has been nothing short of unbelieveable and I cannot be upset that it has come to an end. I've done more things and seen the world more than most others; and that is a reward in itself. I hope that others are inspired by this to step outside of their comfort zones and see the world in a different way. Because that is the main thing you learn while studying abroad; how other cultures go about their daily lives as you grow to embrace those things and you grow as a person.
Finally I would like to thank all of you, my blog followers, for talking the time to experience my stories with me throughout my journey. Four months ago when I started this blog, it originally was just for me to remember my experiences throughout everything I did. However, it grew into more of a hobby, and I genuinely enjoyed sharing my experiences with anyone that would read or listen. So thank YOU. This blog would not be as successful as it was without your interests in what I have done. And today, I now have an amazing collection of all my crazy stories and interesting experiences from South America, a souvenir that is definitely more of a treasure.
This "Redhead in Argentina" is now a redhead in the United States, and that is where my story comes to an end. As usual, I included a quote below that accurately explains my feelings about the end of this journey, but also a second one below to inspire you all (sorry for any sappiness, here). Once again, thank you all and if anyone has any questions, comments, or just would like to hear more stories that I could not write about, you know where to find me. ¡Chau y buena suerte!
"You get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place. Like you'll not only miss the people that you love but you'll miss the person you are now at this time and place because you will never be this way ever again." — Azar Nafisi
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain