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While all of my other friends headed to Panama this weekend, I headed back to ‘Merica to surprise my dad for his birthday! My mom told him to pack his bags for warm weather and that she was taking him on a special weekend trip. Little did he know, I’d arrive in their hotel Friday night, ready to join them for a weekend full of fun!

For those of you who may jump to the wrong conclusions, I’m not a “spoiled” child whose mommy will drop the beaucoup bucks to fly her daughter back for a short weekend. My mom used to work for the airlines and we still receive an allotment of free tickets per year! What a beautiful blessing to be able to see my dad and celebrate his special day. 

I emailed my study abroad advisor at my home university and she strongly encouraged me not to go because she said it would increase my chances of developing homesickness tremendously. However, by the time I’d received her advice, it was a little late. My mom already had the hotel booked and flights planned, so I wasn’t about to back out on our plans!

This was my first time flying alone! I was a little nervous, but I knew I didn’t need to be because, truthfully, God was with me the whole time. No fear.

Truth is…

I did not end up getting homesick! I think the following things helped:

1. I have made great friends here already and established a lot of connections.

2. I didn’t go all the way back home to Michigan, just Miami. 🙂

3. I wasn’t homesick before I left.

4. I prayed about it before I went and that God’s will would be done. I don’t think it would have went as smoothly as it did if it wasn’t in God’s plan. Also, I think maybe God’s protecting me from homesickness. Thanks God!

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Saturday was a GORGEOUS day that I enjoyed laying out and swimming in the beautiful ocean. What a relaxing weekend! That night we met my cousin, Mark, who lives in Boca Raton, which was very close to our hotel. Then we went out to a sports bar to celebrate my dad’s birthday. We got a fun variety of food and it was great to eat some American cuisine after a month of lots of beans! As an appetizer, we ate delicious goat cheese and artichoke flat bread. I think I wanted to cry at how wonderful the fresh cheese tasted.. this place was not your average sports bar! My mom also got a side of sweet potato fries. Oh, how I missed them!

Unfortunately, it was a short trip and I left Sunday morning. I’m so thankful for the great talks and quality time I got to spend with my parents! We hardly eat family dinners together when I’m home so it was nice to be able to catch up on their lives and hear how much I am not missing the Michigan winters.

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Written by Taylar Miller, Social Media Journalist

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