This is my last blog post before I go back to the United States. I arrived in Costa Rica in January and backpacked for a month and a half before I began my program at Universidad Veritas. Six months is a long time; it’s a long time to be in a foreign country, it’s a long time to be away from family and friends and it wasn’t even enough time. I made myself a home here and now I have to leave this home without knowing when I’ll be back.
It’s good that it hurts so much to leave, and I’m going back to a place filled with people I love. And I’m bringing Costa Rica with me because the culture has changed me. I know Spanish now (I honestly only knew ‘hola’ and ‘sí’ when I got here) and I have an understanding of the people here that I could never have gotten from a television special or a book.
Living in a new place is a lot like falling in love. It’s scary at first and uncomfortable, you’re rearranging yourself to fit into new, unfamiliar surroundings. And somewhere between the beginning and the end, you become a part of the place and the place becomes a part of you. I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m jealous of all you lucky people who are about to embark on a beautiful, life-changing adventure. You’re about to fall in love and I’m sure you’re terrified and rightfully so, but what is life if it doesn’t make your heart race?
I’m sure you’re googling pictures of Costa Rica, trying to figure out this new place you’re about to live in. You’re wondering if you made the right decision and you’re wondering if you really should study abroad at all. Because you’re about to be away from people who have known you for your entire life. It’s scary to leave home and it’s scary to move to a culture that is completely different than your own. But it’s funny and you’ll soon realize, that at the end of it all. You’re a combination of everything, you’re still the you from back home but you’re also the new you that was created from living in Costa Rica and all the experiences you’ll have here.
My first home is Boston; my second home is where I go to college in Burlington, Vermont. And now I have a third home, Costa Rica. I realize that there’s not one home, not for me at least. And that it’s possible to wholeheartedly love multiple places. These experiences made me realize that it’s possible to travel and make the world my home. This is my new philosophy and it’s cheesy and corny but for me, it’s completely valid. Costa Rica, I will never stop loving you and thank you for the friends you’ve given me, the food you’ve fed me and the way you always made my heart race.