It has been a couple of weeks since I have returned from my study abroad experience, and it has been tough. When I first got to Barcelona I didn’t have any culture shock or any trouble adjusting to the time zone there because I was so excited to be in a foreign city by myself. My return home was a different story. For the first week I woke up every day at 6 am because it was noon in Barcelona, and I always got very tired at the end of the day when all of my friends wanted to hang out and were doing things. This was one of the first things I noticed about coming back home. The next challenging aspect of moving home was when I was hungry and when I ate. Now this may seem like a ridiculous struggle to have but when eating in Barcelona I would eat lunch around 2:30 and dinner at 8-9:30, but at home we ate at noon and like 6-7:30 so I was never hungry at the right times and didn’t really eat much with my family. Although these are small things they really play a big impact into a persons life.
The next thing that was challenging when coming back home was reverse culture shock. When I went to Barcelona I was so excited to be there and so ready to immerse myself into the culture that I didn’t experience any culture shock because I was open to almost anything, but when I returned home it was tough. When in Barcelona I would wake up every day and walk out on my balcony and look at the incredible view and then walk to class and get to look at all the architecture and beautiful sights. At home, I was either stuck in my house or had do drive my car to get to where I wanted to go, and everything was the same stuff I looked at and went to in high school. I was slightly depressed when coming home because I had moved away from this new incredible place where I experienced so many new things, and now I was back home to the place I spent 20 years of my life and have done everything there is to do. Even things such as being 20 minutes on the Metro away from the beach were tough to get used to not having since now I am nowhere near a beach. Overall it was a tough adjustment being back in my hometown instead of being in Barcelona.
The last challenging aspect about returning home was the food. Barcelona offered new food and new food experiences that I don’t have at home. Whether it be traditional tapas or a fresh seafood paella the food in Barcelona was incredible, but now I don’t have the options I did there. The first few days it was fine because I missed a lot of my home food such as Skyline and Chipotle, but after that I just wanted to be able to go to all of my restaurants that I loved in Barcelona. This summer was the greatest experience of my life and I got to experience so much culture and so many different things and I am happy and sad to be back in the United States and at UofL again, and I can’t wait until my next traveling adventure when I go abroad.