So I’m going through pictures on Facebook when I realize that I never officially ended this blog. In fact, I think I left a lot of things out, mainly Berlin, my birthday and the days leading up to my departure. But you don’t need to hear those. All you need to know, dear reader, if you’re still there, is that they were some of the best moments I had during this exchange year.
It’s weird, to now talk about my adventure in the past tense. But it is in the past. It’s been about a month and a half since I got back, and only now do I write a year-end blog. Things just went way too fast, I guess. I could barely keep up.
How do I even begin to talk about this year, as a whole? You’ve been reading some highlights of my trip, but the small things, the intimate details, the everyday happenings, those were all part of my year, my experiences, my memories. And no one will ever be able to know how the year was, really, except for me. Maybe other exchange students will get the idea though. ;) I wish I had kept a journal of some sort. If I had just written small things everyday… Well, there’s no use for the what-ifs now. No regrets. :)
Leaving, was a weird feeling. I don’t think it hit me ’til the day itself, even with all the packing and stuff. The thing is, I left a month earlier than all of the other exchange students, which sucked, but I had to deal with it. The situation was this: School in the Philippines starts, more often than not, in early June. The program I was in Germany for was supposed to end in July. I even asked my school what would happen if I missed a month school, and I couldn’t, otherwise would mean a failing grade. So I knew from the start that I would be leaving early. Of course, as time went on, leaving early became harder to deal with. Dad gave me the option to stay, but if I stayed, that would mean delaying college for another year. So I made a decisions, and well… I’m here. But even now, even after meeting all these people in college and having a great time, if my options were better, I would have stayed, no regrets. Even for just that one extra month.
But either way, June or July, I would have had to leave at some point. And it’s hard, harder than I thought, to say goodbye to people you’re not sure of ever seeing again. I’ve gained best friends and had the best memories with these people. How do you say goodbye to that? And it’s different. For some weird reason unfamiliar to me, the bond I have with them is different. Maybe it’s the mixing of cultures, I don’t know. But it’s a different kind of relationship than what I have with the people here. Whatever it is, I miss the year, and I miss them. And I will always miss it, I think. Everytime I look through photos, or see people post on facebook, I’m going to get some sort of pang somewhere in my heart, because these people are a part of me now. Du bist und bleibst für immer ein Teil von mir.
(This post is getting really cheesy…)
The whole experience was really something else. Some people think I was just gallivanting around Europe, taking trips left and right, visiting all these wonderful places, but that’s not all I did (I did that too tho..). Not many people realize how hard it actually is. It is definitely not an extended vacation. Not many people know the work exchange students have to put in, the hardships we actually go through. It’s not all fun and games when it comes to adapting to an entirely knew culture, and then again, when going back to the old one.
This whole thing has changed me in some way. I can’t quite put my finger in it. I know I’m gonna remember it and keep going back to it for the rest of my life. People say “past is past.” but this year is something that I’m not willing to let go of. I know it’s in the past, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a part of me anymore. It might get annoying, but I’m probably gonna talk about it for a while. So bear with me, cause it’s all I got. You weren’t there. If you were, you’d talk about it too.
I don’t know when my next adventure will be, but I can promise you that I will have another one, and I will write about it. So keep checking. It could be soon. I decided a while back that the end of this year would not mean the end of this blog. My adventures will keep on coming.
To live would be an awfully big adventure.
Locally, or internationally, I will keep this alive. or try to.
Of course, it takes two to tango. It wouldn’t have made it this far with you sticking by me.
So, again thanks for sticking with me. :)
See you on the flipside.