“It was about my fifth time I was rereading my host mom’s name, “Carmen”. I had waited weeks and weeks for the information about my host family to arrive. I quickly called my mom to tell her about the family. The months leading up to the trip I was eager to tell everyone I was going to Costa Rica but, in this moment it all became real. I was going to be traveling to another country by myself. I had limited information about what I was going to be doing once I got there, and I had very limited knowledge about Costa Rica. There have been a few times this week, where I could not even talk about leaving home without crying. I honestly have no idea what I am doing and who I am going to be with.“
Those were the first words I wrote about traveling to Costa Rica. I was so caught up in completing Spring Semester it did not hit me until the absolute last minute that I was traveling outside of the country for a month. I was sitting on the plane utterly terrified. This was going to be my first extended study abroad trip. Clearly there has been a huge transition since those first days. Now that I sitting in my bed on the last day of my study abroad journey I cannot help but to be sad and laugh at the terrified me from a month ago. Within a month, I have formed the habit of being attached to the people, the environment, and the exploring. I don’t think I am ready to give that up yet. Needless to say, I am not a person who likes endings or change. I started this journey not expecting anything, and I am coming out of this trip having learned so much. I have gained family, friends, and a sense of adventure.
Carmen, my host mother, has become family to me and has done everything she possibly can to make this feel like home. I will miss all of our long chats over meals and the multiple times we have laughed together. I think one of the best moments is us cooking a dessert together for my Spanish class. I did not buy one of the most important ingredients. Me and my host mom stayed up until 11 o’clock at night trying to find ways to make this dessert work. In the end, we came up with a creation of our own. This speaks volumes about the kind of person Carmen is, she is accepting of all mistakes and is resourceful in every way possible. I will find myself feeling like I am missing a parent when I leave.
While I have gained a member of my extended family, I have also found a really good friend. Within the first two week of study abroad, I met a girl name Moira, and we immediately clicked. Ever since then, we have laughed about our incorrect Spanish and adventured throughout San Jose together. Now it is coming to an end. We try our best not to mention that tomorrow I will be boarding a plane to home, which is a state across the country from where she lives. The odds of us meeting again are slim, but when you find friends where the relationship just flows, it is impossible to just let it fade away.
There is some happiness hidden away in this ending. Tomorrow, I will be able to see my mom, and my brother. After I came home from school, I was only home a week before I left. Although it feels like I have made another life for myself here, I know where my real home is. I will miss the room and the bed I have made mine for a month, but I know my real bed is waiting for me in Michigan. Although, I will miss Carmen I know my real mom is missing me. While I have a lot to give up by leaving I know there is a lot waiting for me at home for me too.