Coming to a Close
As I’m sitting here writing this blog, I’m eating the last of my groceries, sitting in a room that’s in the chaotic state between settled and packed, with my notes from my entire year stacked on either side of my laptop. Tomorrow I have my last two finals (Digital Electronics and Early Irish Spirituality), and eleven hours afterwards, I leave for the bus that takes me to the Dublin airport.
I was sure to fill my last week in Europe with excitement: I went to visit my friend from school studying in Budapest. Budapest is an amazing city full of delicious food, unbelievable sights, and quirky night life. The final city I visited in Europe ranked very highly on my list of all the cities I visited, but I still could not wait to come home to Cork, my favorite city yet.
I hadn’t had a single moment by myself for over two weeks, and returning to my silent room was eerie. After a night of sleep (for the first time in more than two weeks not syncing alarms with at least one other person), I unpacked my backpack from Budapest. I suppose, I unpacked to repack, as within the hour it was all back into my suitcase, the large piece of luggage that I had last packed four months ago at home in California. I thought the packing would be far more sentimental: here I was, putting my life back in my suitcase all over again, trying to stuff four months-worth of memories in with what I had already brought. But my mind was stuck on the two finals I had yet to take, the cleaning that had to be finished, the friends that had to be reached out to one last time– I haven’t had time yet for it all to hit me. I set a countdown on my laptop for the time I leave for my bus (1 day, 9 hours, and 13 minutes left to go!), hoping that it would solidify that I’M GOING HOME.
I just wrapped up nearly three weeks of endless traveling, and three days after coming back to Cork, I’m leaving it for quite a long time. I will be coming back to Europe, to Ireland, and to Cork; I intend to tell the world to visit this city that I had the privilege of calling home for the past four months.
Aaaaand here come the waterworks– I knew it’d happen eventually! That was the kicker: I’m leaving one of my homes and I don’t know when I’ll be coming back. But I’m also going back home to California: leaving home to come back home is quite hard to wrestle with. I am so so blessed to have had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in Europe: to learn about so many cultures and to meet so many people and to know, deep down, at my very core, that I haven’t even scratched the surface of what this continent has to offer.
So Cork, Ireland, Europe, it has been grand. And not the Irish slang use of “grand,” not just fine or alright: I mean it’s been amazing, incredible, and awe-inspiring to get to know you, and trust me when I say, I will be back.