I’ve been back in the states (Tuscaloosa, actually) for about a week now, and honestly, it’s a little strange. In Madrid, life was hectic and busy with a new adventure around every corner. Here, summer slowly floats along in a sleepy college town. I keep thinking there’s something I should be doing, some place I should be eager to explore. But alas – now it’s just the daily shift at work. The thing I’ve been missing the most, though, are the friends I made while abroad. They made the experience incredible, and I know that we will stay friends during the semesters to come. How can you spend a month in a new country traveling with someone and not miss them when you leave?

It’s also unexpectedly difficult to describe my experience in Spain to those who ask. Rather than dumping my entire story on them, I usually get frustrated with my incompetency and reply something along the lines of, “Yeah, it was great.” I wish I could put into words how much this program meant to me, how much I learned, and the┬áimpact it will have on me. I’m even changing from a Spanish minor to a Spanish major, as the trip has simply increased my desire to pursue this language and the people who speak it.

An adjustment to coming home that I’ve found kind of funny is having to remember to speak English. My natural instinct is to talk in Spanish when asking a question or ordering something, or even casually. For example, at work this week after my coworker sneezed, I accidentally said ‘salud’ instead of ‘bless you.’ I may have gotten some weird looks for that one. I miss having people everywhere to practice my Spanish with! Now, I’m just thinking of where I’ll decide to go next.