Last night I Skyped with two of my best friends at Seatte U, one just began her school year like normal and the other is in the middle of a semester abroad in Quepos, Ecuador. I was ridiculously excited to tell them about my life in Costa Rica, but when we got on the subject of being homesick it struck me how much I miss the family and home I have created at Seattle U. This is my senior year and I knew that if I didn’t study abroad and push myself outside of my comfort zone I wouldn’t know what I really wanted after graduation. What I didn’t expect though was that once I got out of Seattle, the place I’d been making plans to leave for the past year, I would immediately feel a different kind of homesickness that I never felt for my home in New Mexico. I’m guessing the weather is going to be getting cooler soon in Seattle and everything pumpkin-flavored will take over (I got an email from my former employer Molly Moon’s and – holy ice cream – Seattleites are in for some awesome flavors this season). While it all feels a little bittersweet to realize I am missing my favorite season in the states, this is one of the reasons I wanted to study abroad. In Costa Rica the weather feels like an endless summer, I live two blocks from the beach, I get the privilege to call this paradise home – and it feels like the bittersweet homesickness makes it all worth it because I consistently have to practice living in the moment.
It took me 2 years of planning and about 3,427 miles to get here to finally realize what I value the most in my life. Every time I get an inkling of missing someone or something back in the U.S., it’s like an exercise in figuring out who and what is important to me. It is funny how living on a beach has made me realize how much I appreciate living in the city, and how Spanish television really gets me thinking about my film classes at SU. I feel like I’m having the coolest summer vacation; I’m simultaneously having a once in a lifetime experience and getting closer to answering that looming question: “What do you want to do when you grow up?”