I’m going to get straight to the point. Studying abroad is by no means a perfect experience . It’s really difficult. And it’s even more difficult because no one else (back home) really understands that it can be so difficult. The truth is despite how awesome my Facebook or Instagram looks, I miss home a lot. Don’t get me wrong I am having the time of my life in Europe. I am seeing amazing things, exploring new places, and learning so much about myself. Already, I have been to 9 countries and 22 cities. But a part of me craves the norm I was so used to before coming here , the language, the culture, my routine, my friends, my family.
It wasn’t until spring break that this homesickness became so apparent to me. After the third day in Barcelona, I got physically sick. I’ll spare the details but basically I woke up at 3 in the morning, throwing up and couldn’t stop. We had to be checked out of the hotel at 6:45 am that morning to catch a train to Seville and there was absolutely no way I was going to make it. My tour group left and I stayed in the hostel. At this moment, I had a break down, I wanted nothing more than to be home, not in a foreign country by myself in a room with 7 other beds. I didn’t even want to be in my bed in Prague. I wanted to be back in California and I couldn’t and that was my harsh reality.
Eventually i pulled through and felt better. By myself in Barcelona, I managed to pack up, check out of the hostel at 5 am, get to the airport then fly from Barcelona to Lisbon. Once I was in Lisbon I took 2 trains to Lagos and then cabbed it to the hostel. Although I wasn’t throwing up anymore I still didn’t feel great. I still don’t know what got me sick, whether it was something I ate, the water I drank or the dehydration from the water I didn’t drink. All I know is I was taking really poor care of my body. That day I had walked the most I have ever walked in Europe, 39,000 steps(almost 17 miles), I was very hungover from the night before, I had only gotten 2-3 hours of sleep, and I had not been drinking too much water. This was my wake up call. Before studying abroad I was in pristine health , making most of my meals at home , on a pescetarian diet , working out 5 times a week. I haven’t been so kind to my body in Europe. It’s really difficult with all the traveling and moving around we do, your priorities change. But from now on my physical and mental health is my first priority and everything else will just have to come second.