As my wonderful time in Madrid came to a close I was more than excited to be coming back to the United States. My Dr. Pepper craving was at an all time high and my dreams had been in Spanish for an entire month, not to mention the crazy heat wave that Europe while I was there. But, home was not actually my next stop. I hopped on a flight to Paris to visit other friends and take a vacation, even though many people consider study abroad to be very vacation-like. My time in Madrid had well prepared me to visit another country, not because of the content I learned in the classroom but because of the independence and new life skills I had gained living in Spain the past four weeks. I was able to plan excursions, quickly learn the metro/subway system and seem a little less like the typical American many Europeans expect (and quite frankly don’t love). I was open to trying new foods and just soaking in the local culture and way of life and I wasn’t scared to brave this new city alone. Had I not taken the leap of faith and signed up for UA in Spain I would have never had the confidence to go to a city where I don’t speak the native language and just explore all the city had to offer. I wouldn’t say studying abroad made me a new person or was some crazy life-altering experience but it did help me be less timid in the face of uncertainty which is something I didn’t know I needed. Anyway, after a quick five day vacation in Paris (eating ALL the food, yes even snails.) I was ready to board my flight and return to home sweet Houston. Returning home is bittersweet. Leaving all of your newly made friends and the schedule you had been on to just come home and work or take more summer class is the part that stinks, but the comfort of being home and normality of daily life is something I didn’t realize was so important to me. Not to mention when abroad there isn’t much time to hit the gym, nor is there much air conditioning and the crazy amount of guilt you feel when you actually sleep in. All in all there is no reason to turn down this opportunity, you learn a little bit in the classroom, a little bit about yourself and you make friends and memories that last a lifetime. Being home and being comfortable is great, but adventure is out there and we should all chase after it. Thanks for keeping up with my trip all you BamaBloggers. I hope you learned a little bit about me and I hope you choose to push yourself out of your comfort zone one day too.