A little late, but last post abroad!
Well, here it is: my final blog post abroad. I have finished finals, my classes are done, and I’m passing my last few days in Buenos Aires trying to do all the last-minute things I’ve accumulated on my to-do list this semester. Between these random activities and goodbye dinners and coffee breaks with my Argentine friends, who are still in the thicket of finals, I’ve actually been pretty busy.
Not too busy, though, that I haven’t had a chance to reflect. I’ve done a lot of thinking these past few weeks, and I came to a pretty interesting realization. My time abroad was not perfect, but I still had a pretty great time. It’s funny, but I actually realized this while I was watching the Copa America final between Argentina and Chile a week or two ago. I was home watching the game with my host grandma, who I admittedly have not had the best relationship with this semester, and her sister. Anyway, as I’m sure most people know, Argentina lost. Without getting into the logistics of the game (and in full honesty, I couldn’t even attempt to explain the game because I was watching it purely for Kun Agüero) I definitely changed a bit after watching Argentina lose. Specifically, I think I fell in love with the country again.
Yeah, yeah, I know that sounds crazy because the rest of the country was either angry about the loss or was crying over the impending loss of Messi, but in that moment, I was just really happy to be in Argentina. I remembered why I had chosen Buenos Aires as my study abroad destination over a year ago. Watching the sea of men and women in blue and white chanting for their favorite players replaced irritated memories of waiting in bank lines for two or three hours. Hearing my host grandma and her sister gossip about the players like they were all one big family reminded me of all the love the porteños I have met have for one another. I don’t know, for the first time since I stepped off the plane, I felt like I truly was a part of Argentina.
So now, here I am, preparing to go home. I’m excited to see my family, but I am sad to leave behind the life I have created for myself here. Whenever I Skype my friends from home or from school, they talk about how excited they are to see the “new me.” And I think I’m excited for them to see the “new me,” too.
I am leaving Argentina more confident and capable than I have ever been before, and I genuinely think I am returning to the States as a kinder, better person. I don’t know, maybe that’s the nostalgia already setting in, but I’m really going to miss this magical place. I’ve had some “queen of the world” moments, but I’ve also cried on the colectivo at three in the morning. Buenos Aires has certainly left an impression on me, and I absolutely cannot wait to return.