Coming home was such a surreal thing. You don’t realise just how fast a year goes by until you are leaving for the airport. Will I ever come back to Chile? Will I miss it? So many questions went through my mind in the cab on the way to the airport. This amazing, culture rich experience had come to an end, and I had to go back to my past life as if nothing happened? It is weird to try and bring back that experience with you to your home country, because no one will ever fully understand it but you. It was a completely unique journey away from friends and family that it is almost impossible to tell everything that has happened in a year!
Coming back to California, I felt like I was returning to a past life of mine. It’s almost like I pressed pause on my former life, left and lived a different life, came back, and pressed the play button. It has taken way longer than I had thought to adjust. Back into my old routines, my old university, my old friends, and family. Also, just generally my state of being. I started to notice things here in my home country- whether they be cultural, environmental, social – and compare them them to my life in Chile. And wow what a difference that was! It’s hard to believe that a lot of people in California who haven’t traveled to many places like Chile (third world countries in general) and don’t know what life is like over there. I feel like people would take what they have less for granted. That is why I am so thankful for my enriching experience… I know how lucky I am to be born and raised in California and live in a beautiful city such as San Francisco. While it will take some more adjusting, I know I will get back into my old life soon, but with a greater understanding of the world and a more grateful attitude.