After loads of train delays to the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris (due to the famous French strikes), a flight delay from Paris to Chicago, a missed connection in Chicago, and then another flight delay back to Indy... I finally made it home!! It may have taken 24 hours, but at least I made it! It's weird being back in the states and hearing English again, but it's also quite refreshing. I don't have to think before I speak or try to figure out how to navigate anything new. It's all just "normal" to me. I thought once I got back I was going to experience loads of emotions right away, but I don't think I've fully processed everything quite yet. It all seems to be coming in waves. For some reason, I also feel like I'll be heading back to Europe after the break for another semester, even though I know I'm not!
Since being back, I've experienced a few weird (or maybe completely normal) responses. First, I almost screamed when I saw how many clothes and shoes I owned. After living out of two suitcases for a year, I quickly came to realize what I do and do not need. Let me tell you... YOU DON'T NEED 5 MILLION OUTFITS AND PAIRS OF SHOES!!!! Ooof it really stresses me out when I take a look in my closet. Now, I want to sell and donate everything! Second, I am not very interested in a lot of the foods here that I used to be in love with. I thought I would get back and crave all the places that I used to enjoy, but now I just think about how "fake" the food is in comparison to places I enjoyed in Europe... Lots of the food here feels and tastes so processed to me now. I hope this changes. Third, I feel lazy. I used to walk everywhere and now I barely walk. I'm assuming once classes start back at IU I'll be walking everywhere, but for right now, I feel like soooo lazy! I miss the walkability of the cities I lived in. Lastly, I feel like I just woke up from a dream. Everything here seems to have stayed the same, but I feel like I just got back from this alternate reality that changed me so much. I've been slowly starting to see everyone who I missed so much, but it's been hard for me to know what to share when they ask for updates. So much has happened, where do I even start and what do I include and leave out? I also don't want to be the person that talks too much about their time/ experiences abroad. I'm very lucky to have had the opportunity to go, and I realize that not everyone gets that opportunity.
Long story short, I'm still very much in the process of figuring out my life after my adventures abroad, but I'm eager to head back to Bloomington and start my new normal! I'm also hoping I can stay active within an international community, like helping out/working for an international offices :)