While sitting in the Belize airport, it didn’t hit me that we were leaving until all of my friends got on their planes and I was one of the last to leave. I was really sad to leave Belize and to end the experience that I had been having there. When I first arrived, I was nervous, but I very quickly found myself settling in and feeling at home in the tropical climate and the meaningful and purposeful atmosphere amongst the people of Belize. I bought all the chocolates and Belizean snacks I could in that airport so I could take back to the U.S. some little piece of home I had found in Belize. When I landed in Dallas it felt surreal, but I also felt at home again. This feeling was dissonant because I felt happy and at home in Belize, but in America is where I felt sadly comfortable, but I also felt comfort in knowing exactly where I was and how to get where I was going. My first meal back was a turkey BLT with cranberry relish and sweet potato fries and just after the first bite, it tasted and felt so underwhelming, like it just didn’t hit the spot, and I have struggled to find a dish that hits the spot the way the Belizean cuisine did when I was abroad. Belize really opened my eyes to what other places in the world have to offer and among those things, it taught me that more developed isn’t always better. The simplicity of their lifestyle, and the lack of all the little industrialized complications, allowed them to find some meaning and purpose in even the smallest things they did. It really showed me the value in appreciating both what you have and what you don’t for the sake of preserving the beauty around you. For many of the people we met, it was their marine and tropical ecosystem that they were working hard to protect. I feel like there are so many things that I have that I don’t need and I miss just the way the sun shines in Belize and being able to see the constellations at night. My biggest piece of advice when abroad is to get to know the people, listen to their stories, try their food, and really dive into everything the country and its people have to offer, because it is eye opening and far too valuable to miss. I wish I had cut off my phone the entire trip so as to completely focus on my surroundings and the opportunities I had to really submerge myself in the culture. I fell in love with the culture, the customs, the food, the people, the landscape, and the entire experience and that isn’t worth missing for anything.