It feels like planets have lined up in order for my graduation day to come. At this point, I feel like the happiest person on Earth, because not only have I returned with such profound experiences in Argentina, but now I have the freedom apply what I have learned to my life at home. I have big plans for the future, but it starts here at my mother’s home where I will be moving in after graduation to help her around the house and start fresh.
I didn’t come back with reverse culture shock like I had imagined, but I did go to the grocery store and came back with loads of cereal, junk food, and things I didn’t know I missed since I’ve been gone. I hope I don’t pick up any old habits! But in other terms of culture shock, I haven’t had any. However, I do feel like everything I have learned has significantly strengthened my critical thinking skills and my respect towards others. I can’t be any more thankful for having the support from my family and friends during these last few months and years.
I can’t help but miss Argentina. I miss my family, I miss my friends, I miss traveling, I miss the conversations I had with people on the streets, and I miss the music and culture. I feel like there’s always a surprise in Buenos Aires….I’ll be back soon, but not before I explore other parts of the world. My experience studying abroad opened my eyes and I think I caught the travel bug.
One of my plans is to travel across the United States. While in Argentina, I realized I have hardly explored anything in the States. This summer I will take it upon myself to travel across the country to New York from Los Angeles. Not just for fun, but also to get a sense of what it is to be a North American. There are tremendous differences in all parts of the world and I want to know what make the States so different. Especially because of my experience in Argentina where I met people who felt strongly for or against North Americans. I need to experience it for myself.
In the meantime, while I prepare for my trip across the country, I plan to publish a lot of the material I have from my study abroad experience in Argentina. One of the things I did was work with talented individuals by documenting their lives and their art. Because of them, I was able to experience an Argentina that exists outside of tourism. Now I owe it to them to publish this material and create for them more media presence. In addition, I will be posting a YouTube series of my 10-day trip in Salta and Jujuy, Argentina. This should be exciting because I have some real stories to tell, like the time the bus broke down and no one told me we changed buses and I almost lost all my stuff. I think this series will not only be fun to watch but will be of good use for anyone who plans to travel these northern regions in Argentina.
Something I feel most certain about traveling is that there is nothing I can be certain about. For example, I can plan to travel from point A to point B but I can easily be thrown off course by all the exciting things that are happening around me. I’m not saying one should always take the road not taken. I’m saying that sometimes our plans should be open to the circumstances that present themselves. I can’t do everything I set out to do, but I will make the best of my experience wherever I go.