Week 15: Saying Goodbye





 Writing this on my eleven hour flight from Heathrow to LAX:

So this last week has been really weird. It didn’t take me that long to pack my life into four little boxes—that was weird. Saying goodbye to friends the same way I always do, except this time forever—that was weird. Thinking about returning home to a big ol’ pile of family—that’s pretty cool.

So here’s a quick rundown on my last week here:

Finished up final papers. Said thank you to teachers. Bought posters and gifts for friends and family back at home. Reconnected electronically with the flood of friends waiting for me in Orlando. Celebrated a quiet birthday with two friends Tori and Georgia. Rode my last metro. Walked around Wenceslas Square one last time.

I said goodbye to teachers and staff at the ECES farewell party. In a Trappist brewery and restaurant I gathered with teachers and peers to celebrate the semester over a delicious meal. I was also recognized by the ECES staff with a community service certificate and for winning first place in the ECES photo contest. It’s cool that they’re going to hang up my photo in one of the classrooms at Charles University; it’s like a little piece of me gets to stay behind.

I said goodbye to friends abroad. Hours before my flight, I sat around my friend Josh’s dining room table with many of my ERASMUS friends, many to whom were also leaving the following day. We had soup and latkes. We ate quietly, and then after the meal, sat in silence for almost an hour and a half. Every now and then, a sigh or a brief sentence. Once the clock struck ten, I rose, got my bag, gave out goodbye hugs to the three people that I’ve grown the closest to while abroad, and left. Oddly, it was the most authentic goodbye I’ve ever been a part of.

Really eager to get back home and see friends and family again!

Stay tuned for my adjustment post.