In honor of there being 17 days left until I return to the states, the following is a list of the top 17 things I am not looking forward to when I think about going home. Hope you enjoy!
17. Playing music I picked up in Europe and everyone else staring at me like I am a weirdo because they either can’t understand a word they’re saying or they’ve just never heard of the style of music, or both.
16. Having to tip every time I eat at a restaurant. Tipping in Europe is not a thing. In fact it can be interpreted as very disrespectful in some countries. The way it works in Europe is that the “tip” for the waiter is included in the cost of your meal. What the percentage is I am not sure but I can assure you it is fair. So yeah, I may or may not forget to tip whenever I eat out. I apologize in advance to my waiter!
15. Having to go to class. As much as I like learning and love my campus, I am really not looking forward to going to class. I haven’t gone to a normal class session for about a month now, and by the time school starts in August it will be 3 months since I attended a regular class lecture. So hopefully all goes well. #UpperDivisions
14. Paying for gas. It has been an eternity since I last drove. Okay, maybe not that long, but still! For the past 3 months I have taken public transportation and not once since I left the states have I had to pay for gas.
13. Fighting for a parking spot. Whether it be school, the mall, or even a public park; parking has always been an issue in most places back in the States; and since I haven’t driven anywhere in Europe, I haven’t had to worry about that. I also haven’t had to worry about remembering where I parked my car, so hopefully I don’t accidentally leave my car somewhere.
12. Having to pay my cars registration and smog check. As much as I miss driving, having to pay all the expenses associated with owning a car is something I am not looking forward to.
11. The 36 hours of traveling time it is going to take for me to get to Los Angeles from Madrid. I am scheduled to take 4 flights with 3 airlines beginning Wednesday morning for me to arrive Thursday in the afternoon. The thing I am most worried about besides safety is how boring the overlays are going to be since I am rather impatient.
10. Not having anyone to practice my Italian with. One of my most proud accomplishments is having learned how to speak Italian. It has been almost 2 months since I have spoken Italian with someone who A) can understand what I am saying and B) can correct me if I am wrong. I imagine that even when I get back there will be even less of an interaction with the language as I know of no one who speaks fluent Italian. After a few months all of my Italian will be lost.
9. Buying textbooks. Here is another thing no one looks forward to. As much as we all love learning, no one like having to pay $400 for a book, especially when you’re going to have to buy 4 or 5 books depending on how many classes you take.
8. Stomach pains. I’ve heard through the grape vine that whenever you leave for an extended period of time to a place where they eat different food than what you are used to it takes a while for your stomach to get used to it (yes, that happened to all of us). Well apparently this is also true when you come back to the place you left. So as much as I am dying to shove a Double Double with cheese and onion into my face I have been warned to take it slow. Yeah… like that’s going to happen!
7. Getting hit with reverse-homesickness. Apparently there is such a thing where you get home sick, but not from the place you left from, instead from the place you left to. Check in with me a few days after I get back for an update on this so called reverse-homesickness.
6. Reverse culture shock. When you go abroad you get hit with culture shock which is basically you freaking out a little over the rules and lifestyle that other countries or places have. I have been told that going back to the States after a long time you get hit with a very similar thing but backwards. More or less it is the exact same thing as regular culture shock except instead of freaking out of about some other country you freak out about your own country. What happens is that after a while you get accustomed to your style of living. For example, it is perfectly normal to close your business and take a nap from 1-3 pm in Italy, but if I were to do this in the U.S. I would probably lose customers and potential sales.
5. Depression. Another one of the things I’ve heard through the grape vine is that when people return home after being abroad they go through a minor depression that begins the moment you board the plane and start getting hit with the realization that a chapter of your life is now over.
4. Being told to shut up because all I can talk about are my experiences and adventures I had while being abroad.
3. Being told I have changed for worse rather than for the better. This one is really tricky, and honestly it’s more of a fear I have. I knew I would change a bit because of my study abroad experience, what I don’t know is how much I have changed (and I am not talking about appearances).
2. Hearing all the awesome stories of adventures that I missed out with my friends and family. As much fun as I may have had while being abroad I would gladly have given it up to have the opportunity to have made priceless memories with my family.
1. Having to visit 2 of my friends’ graves because they passed away while I was abroad…