It’s getting close. I leave the country that I have fallen in love with in just a few days. In all honesty, I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when I return home. Even though my mom doesn’t want to hear this, I would be completely content having my dog brought over, and moving my whole life to this wonderful city.
In my (way too short) time here, I’ve found very little I didn’t love about not only my sweet little city, but the country as a whole. From the “work to live, don’t live to work” attitude, to the beautiful city streets, beaches, and nature surrounding me, I just can’t imagine not being here.
Over the past two months, I’ve changed. Both personally, and professionally. Most, I would say, for the better. I’ve found a new sense of independence in myself, which is something I’ve always struggled with. From being the main planner of trips with friends, to simple things like meals by myself, I have discovered that I actually like taking the lead sometimes. Along with this new sense of independence, I’ve developed an intense desire to travel. Everywhere. Of course I had some desire before coming here, which drove my decision to study abroad at all, but after a small glimpse of how many places and people are within my reach, I want to explore as much as physically possible. Finally, and maybe most importantly, I have really learned to go with the flow in my time here. From planning trips days in advance, to going on said trips with nothing planned except flights and somewhere to stay, to showing up to work and no one being at the office, I’ve dealt with plenty of last minute stressors. Thanks to this, I no longer let myself get too worked up about the little things. Sure, I still have days where everything irritates me, but problems really just don’t seem as big as they may have before this experience. I can happily say that this change is going to help me tremendously, both personally and professionally. On a more professional note, I have learned in depth the value of communication. Whether it be with my friends, my host family, my supervisors, or my soccer players, I would not have survived this trip without expanding my communication skills. From a very real language barrier, to explaining reasons for doing things which those I work with have never heard of or considered, effective communication has been essential. While I was pretty confident in my communication skills before this, I have vastly expanded them, along with learning new methods of explanation.
All in all, Valencia has helped to shape me as a person. I never realized I could love a place that wasn’t home, so much. Here, I’ve found parts of myself that I didn’t know existed, along with finding somewhere I could actually call home one day. And for that, I will forever be grateful.
Here’s to you, Valencia.
Until next time,