Being away from home taught me so much about the world around me, but it also made me appreciate what I have at home. They always say you never realize what you have until it’s gone, and I have definitely experienced that over the last few weeks. There are many things I’m glad to have back now that I’m home, but there are also a lot of things I miss tremendously about being abroad.
Things I Love About Being Home:
- Customer Service – In Ireland, customer service was nearly nonexistent. Servers work for a living wage and do not receive tips, therefore they don’t check up on you during your meal, refill your drink, or ask if our food was satisfactory. I felt like a queen at my first sit-down meal back in the States.
- Family & Friends – One of the best parts about being home is having my family and friends near me at all times. I missed them so much while I was gone, and it’s so nice to be able to see them in real life, rather than through Skype.
- Phone – I never realized how dependent I was on my phone until I was lost in London with no internet access on my phone and the inability to call anyone for help. I appreciate having my phone working again more than I could have ever imagined.
- Not Living Out of a Suitcase – Being able to wear something besides the 8 shirts and 2 pairs of jeans I brought to Europe makes getting dressed so much easier. I’m beyond thankful to have access to all of my clothes now so that I don’t have to go buy something every time I don’t have the appropriate clothing with me for certain events. My wallet and my fashion sense appreciate it too.
- Routine – Now that I’m not racing off to different countries and trying to squeeze as much into a single day as possible, I am a lot more relaxed. I finally have opportunities for some much needed down time.
Things I Miss About Being Abroad:
- Adventure – Never once while abroad was I bored. The same cannot be said about being home. Sometimes while I’m doing nothing but watching TV I think about what I would be doing if I were still in Ireland — Exploring castles and meeting awesome people are usually at the top of that list.
- Friends – Although we were only together for a short period of time, my classmates and I became super close. I miss living, learning, and exploring with all of them dearly!
- Learning – Whether it be in or out of the classroom, I learned something new every single day while abroad. I was always curious about my surroundings, the history of where I was, or the culture of the area I was in.
- Freedom- While abroad, I was (for the most part) able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. If I wanted to take the train somewhere for the day, I could. If I wanted to buy last minute tickets to a concert, I could. And if I wanted to just stay in and read or watch a movie, I could. Now that I’m home, I have to work so I’m not as available to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way.