It’s always bittersweet in the end. And literally, in my last few days I made sure to drink all I could of the bitter mate and eat sweet dulce de leche. I packed kilograms of mate, dulce de leche, and my favorite Argentine foods (no wonder each of my suitcases were over 90 pounds), and I learned recipes from my family and friends. Still, things wouldn’t be the same without them.
The last few days were filled with SO. MUCH. FOOD. Before returning to the United States, my friends from the IFSA program and I tried all of the well-known and popular Argentine restaurants. Some of my Argentine friends and my host family hosted despedidas, or going away dinners, for me. They treated me to my favorite meals of milanesas and steak, and I just wished I could fit an Argentine cow in my suitcase. I felt so honored and appreciated, and I hope that my friends and host family know that I appreciate all of them more than words can say.
Looking out the plane window, I thought about how our lives are intersections. We all meet crossroads from time to time. We have to choose which direction to travel, even when the unknown lies ahead. Most times the unfamiliar brings the most beauty. And even with the occasional hill or struggle, we keep going, seguimos adelante. Along the journey, we meet people who change us, and we change them in return. Maybe life keeps moving forward, but we can always look back.
On the plane, I turned to the sweet woman sitting next to me, and she assured me of one thing: You’ll be back in Argentina. Little did I know, I’d find a way to return. Argentina, see you in a few hours!