And then we started the long drive home. I gobbled the snacks my dad and Jonny brought for me - carrots and a PBJ sandwich - and marveled at the large vehicles, the presence of rest areas, and the novelty of listening to the radio.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
And then we started the long drive home. I gobbled the snacks my dad and Jonny brought for me - carrots and a PBJ sandwich - and marveled at the large vehicles, the presence of rest areas, and the novelty of listening to the radio.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Thursday, 2:31 p.m
Today we took a final, had a goof-off class (we ate food our teacher brought us and watched YouTube videos). And we "graduated" from class today. Got "diplomas" and everything! On my way home I tossed my last two folders in the recycling bin - it was a beautiful feeling.
I returned home for my last lunch in Spain (after walking back from school the last time) and am now attempting to finish my packing.
My room is something of a disaster area right now. Actually, maybe not. Zach’s room at home? That’s a disaster area. I can still see my floor, and everything is organized as it should be. It only seems disastrous because I am in the process of packing.
It has been so much easier to pack to go home than it was to pack to come to Spain – I know that I have to bring everything with me, so there’s not a lot of decision-making.
I have one shower to go (I’m taking it while everyone else is taking their siesta), and then will be able to toss things like body wash and shaving cream. I’ll dry and straighten my hair (for what I think will be the third time I’ve done that here) and then will be able to pack my flatiron. I’ll put on make-up for tonight and then will stow the rest in my suitcase.
My room is slowly getting cleaned up. My closet now only holds the clothes I’m wearing tonight and tomorrow; my desk is now only home to my computer; my shelves only have my host mom’s trinkets on them.
My photos on the mirror are gone; my page-a-day calendar is stowed away in my carry-on; my books are settled in my backpack. My gadgets are all charged; my liquids are all in their quart-sized Ziploc bag; my passport is safely tucked in the holder I’ll be wearing around my neck tomorrow.
Now I have reached the point where I want to do nothing but finish packing and leave, but instead, I wait. Not for long now, considering I’ll be getting up in roughly 12 hours to start the long journey home.
This afternoon I’ll be hanging out with Kyla, wandering the streets of this lovely city we’ve called home for the past two months. We have our goodbye dinner tonight with our entire group, plus our advisor and professors. At 3:00 a.m., I’ll be leave 24 calle del sol for the last time, making my way to the bus station with Gigantor in tow.
Our bus for Bilbao leaves at 3:45 a.m. When we arrive there, Sara and I will take the city bus to the airport to catch our 8:00 a.m. flight to Madrid.
After a three-and-a-half hour layover, we leave Spain at 12:35 p.m. for the good ol’ United States. Eight hours and 40 minutes later, I’ll get to Philadelphia at 3:15 p.m. Wouldn’t it be nice if that was actually a three hour flight? Going backwards is going to confuse me like nobody’s business!
After a quick layover in Philadelphia, we leave at 5:55 p.m., arriving in Seattle at 8:56 p.m. That flight is six hours and one minute long, but I know it will seem like the longest because I will be beyond excited to get home.
My daddy and boyfriend are meeting me at the airport and then we’re driving all night to get to Eugene.
I’ve never been more excited for a trip in my life.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Tuesday, 4:18 p.m.
I have three days left in Santander. Less than that, actually. I leave this beautiful city I have learned to love on Friday at 3:45 a.m.
This week has been a busy one. I’ve had two presentations, written several papers, and my finals are coming up in the next two days. I have yet to undertake the daunting task of packing up my room even though every bit of me is longing to do so. I’m forcing myself to wait because I really didn’t bring enough things to be able to pack some of them early.
Because I’m itching to get things together and go home though, I’m starting to get somewhat organized about pre-packing. My toiletries are now organized not based on convenience of use, but based on what I will be tossing and what I’ll be taking. My closet is no longer organized by color and sleeve length, but by what I think I’ll be wearing over the next few days and what won’t be touched until I’m back in the U.S. I have made mental notes of what school things I will immediately recycle once I finish with classes (the culture folder and notebook will be the first to go, tomorrow afternoon once I take the final). I know which carry-on items will go in which bag.
Heck, I’ve even organized my garbage (empty water bottles in one box, garbage in another, paper in yet another).
I’m ready to be home. Obviously I’m so ready to see all my loved ones and speak my favorite language, but I have missed so many other little things about home.
I’m excited to drink Eugene water again. To use my debit card (I haven’t used it hear unless I was withdrawing money, in order to avoid a gargantuan charge). To eat a more sizeable breakfast. To eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. To have vegetables. To not inhale smoke from countless cigarettes on walks. To use my cell phone. To go to Target. To see a real dog (I’m tired of these teensy little purse dogs that are constantly underfoot). To dry and straighten my hair. To read PerezHilton.com daily. To be in a country where it's considered strange to not wash your hands after going to the bathroom (in Spain it's normal to just flush and go...gross!).
Don’t get me wrong – there are things about Spain that I will miss too. I love the people-watching. The fact that the city shuts down on Sundays. The proximity of the beach. Cola-cao. The magical shades that completely shut out any and all light from outside. Having my laundry done for me. Window-shopping. Meeting up with people at all hours of the evening. Regma ice cream. Wandering the Paseo. Watching “Hannah Montana” in Spanish (the girl who voices Hannah sounds exactly like her, it’s scary). The cute little pennies. My sweet host mom saying, “¿Que tal, bien?” whenever I walk in the door, not even giving me the option of being anything but good.
I have seen Spain. I’ve experienced it; I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve learned a lot…and now, I am ready to be home.
Tomorrow I have classes and a final, and then on Thursday I have another final. I will pack like a crazy person on Thursday afternoon before going to La Cena Despedida (The Goodbye Dinner) will everyone from my group, plus our teachers…and then it’ll be time to bus to Bilbao and start the long journey home.
I’m so excited. This trip has been so amazing, but I can't wait to be back where I belong!
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Thursday, 9:07 p.m.
There are several foods I make it my life’s mission to avoid. Included on this list are instant mashed potatoes and anything hot dog or bratwurst-like.
I sat down to dinner tonight with a growling stomach. Imagine my horror when placed in front of me were a big ol’ pile of instant mashed potatoes (the kind that develop an outer skin after sitting for a moment too long) and two disgusting-looking bratwurst.
Little Ramón was not thrilled with tonight’s dinner either. He’s really picky and his parents always have to watch him to make sure he’s actually eating. Tonight he refused to chew and his mom was getting really frustrated with him. But honestly? I felt like doing the same thing so I can’t say I blamed the poor kid.
In attempts of setting a good example (and knowing that my next food won’t be until my scant serving of breakfast crackers with hot chocolate and juice tomorrow morning) I choked down one of the bratwursts and a few bites of the potatoes.
Yuck, yuck, yuck.
I think my host mom caught on to the fact that I wasn’t a huge fan of the food (normally I’m so hungry by dinner than I wolf it down in no time) and brought out my yogurt before it was gone.
I’ve never been so thrilled to see my yogurt than tonight.
Fortunately, tomorrow we’re having tortilla con patata for dinner – thank goodness! It’s a food I look forward to, and it will be a welcome change from tonight’s out-of-character horrible meal.
Unfortunately, I have 11 hours until breakfast.
It’s going to be a long night.
Saturday, 5:50 p.m.
I am currently writing this on my phone as an e-mail to myself while on the bus back to Segovia from Toledo.
I don't want to forget anything I've seen this weekend, and with three amazing cities in three days (Burgos on Sunday), I figured I needed to start documenting now. Or yesterday, if I'd planned better.
On Friday morning we left Santander for Segovia, a five-hour bus ride. No big deal for most, but for me -possessor of the world's tiniest, most responsive bladder - it was an issue. We had a planned stop two hours in, and then were expected to make it the rest of the way sans pit stops.
First of all, Spain is extremely lacking in the public restroom area. Try are few and far between, and are either dirty and free or clean and 20€ cents. And they don't believe in bathrooms on buses, even the charter one we take.
I don't get it.
But anyway, as the miles (excuse me, kilometers) rolled by, I more and more urgently needed a potty break. I finally risked being the annoying one holding up the group and requested a stop, which my advisor graciously allowed (she was understanding because I had already explained my issue to her).
We finally got to Segovia, dropped our bags off at the hotel, and went to lunch. I struggled to choke down one of my least favorite meals (green beans with tomato sauce) for the second day in a row.
After lunch we met up with a tour guide and got a brief glimpse of the city. Segovia is home to an amazing aqueduct:
An amazing castle...
Which had an amazing view…
And an amazing cathedral...
We toured the inside of the castle and the cathedral and got to see some very cool architecture and paintings.
Afterwards we wandered the city until dinnertime, where we fed what I was told tasted like Chef Boyardee (thank you for never feeding me that, Mom!).
After dinner I was too tired to do anything except read and go to bed. We got up early this morning and left for Toledo, making another emergency restroom stop (not for me, although I heeded Uncle David's advice and didn't pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom) on the two-and-a-half hour drive.
Toledo might just be my favorite city. It was absolutely beautiful. Please note the view:
We had another guided tour by a very animated old man. He was great and very excited about his job.
We saw so many cool things, like this Abbie-sized door:
And pretty buildings:
We ate paella for lunch (better than what my host family cooked for me):
I learned to make an origami turtle...
And then wandered the city before heading back to the bus. I finally found the fedora I've been searching for, and beat the heat with a lovely scoop of lemon gelato.
Now we're on the bus, headed back to Segovia for the night. It started raining literally as we were boarding the bus, and right now we're driving through a huge downpour/thunderstorm.
Tonight brings dinner at the hotel, and maybe a bit of city exploring if the weather is decent. Tomorrow morning we leave Segovia to get a tour of Burgos before returning to Santander. Busy busy weekend!
Sunday, 5:45 p.m.
We just finished our tour of Burgos and are headed home, hitting the road only 32 minutes behind schedule (quite a feat with a group of 26 students in a foreign country and even more foreign city).
Burgos was a bit cold but lovely all the same.
We saw a monastery, which was pretty but kind of boring…seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all! Not really…but this one wasn’t anything spectacular, it was freezing, and we had a guide who spoke too quickly for us to grasp all of what she was saying (we were touring with a group of Spanish speakers and didn’t want to ask her to slow down for our account).
We went to a restaurant for a traditional Burgos lunch featuring morcilla, which is rice that has been mixed with pig’s blood and is then fried into a sausage-like food.
I had tried it with lunch two days prior, not knowing what it was…I didn’t like it, even when I didn’t know I was eating fried blood, so I felt justified in passing on my share of morcilla when it was brought out.
After lunch we toured la Catedral de Burgos, which was incredible. Words don’t even explain it, and the photos don’t do it justice…but here are a few of them anyway:
We took a quick walk through the city before returning to good ol’ Barney for our ride home…it was such a busy weekend! And to round out all my beautiful photos, here is one of my favorites…I took it outside of a men’s restroom. Clearly.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
This week is flying by. I can't believe it's already Wednesday! I wrote a post yesterday but it's currently hanging out on my laptop and I'm on a school computer at the Paraninfo, so I'm just going to try to remember what I wrote yesterday and then go from there!
Yesterday was a pretty good day school-wise. My class arrived at school to find out that our professor was sick, so we received worksheets to work on during our class time. I, being the annoying over-achiever that I am, took advantage of this time and actually did the worksheets, then spent my time catching up on correspondence (aka Facebook and e-mail time).
We then started our España Actual class, which is going to be really interesting. We're learning a little about the history of Spain mixed with current events by reading articles and stories, as well as giving presentations in class. It seems like an easy A...but forget I said that, in case it jinxes me.
Next we had our culture class and got our tests back. I got an A and was quite pleased with myself. I like when my studying pays off, and this time it really did. A lot of people in the class didn't do as well as they liked, an occurance that they blamed on the class being 'too hard', but was something I attributed to their lack of studying.
I got home for lunch on my 'I just got an A' high, and my host mom could tell. We talked during lunch about my classes and how I'm doing well. She was singing my praises, telling me that it's so great that I have the ability to balance everything in Spain, from classes and studying to actually enjoying myself. Being the nerd that I am, I told her that I actually enjoy studying, to which she responded that she can tell. I'm that big of a nerd...I'm just going to go with it!
There are a lot of people on this trip who I feel are struggling with finding a good balance. I'm usually pretty good at managing my time, and here I'm even better at it. The lack of internet coupled with the motivation to do really well in all of my classes are all it takes to force me to buckle down and work hard. I never feel too crunched for time, even when I have a lot going on, because I know that I have enough time to do everything.
My time management has allowed me to start and finish seven books here (If my count is correct. And I've only been here for five-and-a-half weeks, so I'll let you do the math), while in Corvallis I can usually only finish one or two books a term...I guess this means that when I'm back in school in Corvallis I need to limit my internet usage and TV watching and my senior year can be an enjoyable time rather than a stressed one.
We'll see if that ends up happening. Old habits die hard, you know?!
I went for a run along the Paseo before returning home to study and (surprise, surprise) read before bed.
Today was another decent day. My teacher was sick yet again, but we had another teacher come in and teach us for an hour. I spent the remaining 45 minutes of class in the computer lab figuring out my schedule for next fall. I used the new 'MyDegrees' program and was thrilled to see that I am right on track for graduation - success!
We had España Actual, which went well, but then there was culture class...and that's where it all went downhill. Not that it was that bad. I was just extremely frustrated the entire time. A lot of my classmates were talking during the entire class, and it was really starting to irritate me. I find it incredibly disrespectful to the teacher and the other students. I was so distracted by the talking and eventually took to shooting people dirty looks (though I was tempted to chuck my eraser at someone) before finally resorting to shushing people (an act I try to avoid, as it makes me look like more of a goody-two-shoes than I actually am and reminds me far too much of high school).
I went home for lunch, went for a run, had a nice little Skype date with Jonny, then headed to the Paraninfo to get some serious internet time in. I'm currently trying to find a job in either Eugene or Corvallis, but it's proving to be difficult from so far away. If anyone hears of anything, feel free to let me know!
Tomorrow brings the last day of school for the week. My grammar test has been officially moved to sometime next week, so I have a nice homework-free night ahead of me. Book number eight has been started...I think I'll see how far I can get before bedtime!
Monday, May 2, 2011
Monday, 9:43 a.m.
Let me start this post by saying I am absolutely exhausted right now! I got very little sleep last night (more on that later) and it is taking everything in my power to not crawl into bed right now and sleep the day away. Today is a holiday in Spain (more on that later too) so I don’t have classes, but I’m pushing through the day (at least until siesta time) so I don’t throw off my sleep schedule too much! And let me also say that this post is LONG. I’d split it up, but am far too lazy to do that, so grab a snack and then get started :)
Let me start at the beginning…
On Friday morning, Sara, Kyla, Becca and I left our houses at 6:20 a.m. for the bus station. From there we took a bus to the Santander airport and boarded the 8:05 a.m. plane to Madrid. The plane ride is an hour long, which was the perfect naptime for me!
We arrived in Madrid, took a bus to the bus station, and then took a cab to our hostel, which was in the center of town in an area called Sol. There are a lot of shops, restaurants, and plazas in this area, so it was always incredibly crowded. You couldn’t walk without running into someone, and in some spots what appeared to be a sidewalk was also a street cars could drive on, so we had to stay on our toes.
We settled in at our hostel, which was really nice for the price we paid! We had a private room for four with its own bathroom. Our room also had a balcony overlooking one of the busy streets, and free Wi-Fi, which I loved. We also had a TV, where I was able to catch a snippet of the Royal Wedding. I only watched a little of it on TV because it was hard to pay attention to what was being said in English with the Spanish commentary, but I used my handy-dandy iPhone later to watch highlight videos and read articles about it. I’ll give you my two cents real quick – Kate looked gorgeous and was clearly born to be a princess!
We took a quick siesta and then set out to explore the city. Madrid’s street signs are even cooler than Santander’s – in addition to being on the sides of buildings, these ones are just pretty! Observe:
We passed a lot of street performers on our walk. This guy (these guys? I wasn’t sure if they were both statues) made a pretty convincing statue. We passed a Neptune “statue” taking a smoke break and weren’t quite as impressed…but these guys were impressive:
We passed so many gorgeous buildings – every single building in Spain is pretty, I swear! This is a church near Museo Nacional del Prado:
At lunchtime we felt like total Americans as we ate at places like McDonalds (I had carrots for the first time in over a month and was so thrilled) and Starbucks. We would have loved to experience the “real” food of Madrid, but didn’t want to fork over the money – fast food is incredibly cheap and easy. Don’t worry; eating McDonalds is definitely not going to become a habit! And my sweet host mom sent me to Madrid with plenty of food, so I stayed somewhat healthy.
Our wanderings took us to Real Jardín Botánico, a lovely garden near the Prado museum. We explored the garden for a while. It was so pretty! A lot of the flowers weren’t in bloom, but it was still really nice. It smelled incredible too.
Of course I had to get a picture with some roses (Abigail Rose, get it?):
We eventually ended up at Prado, “one of the world’s top museums”. Thanks to Rick Steves, we knew when to go to be able to explore the museum for free. We saw several masterpieces and I was reminded of my love for paintings. The museum was huge and we were hungry so we only stayed for a little over an hour, but we still got to see a lot.
We wandered back to our hostel where we turned in pretty early – we were all really tired! It was strange going to sleep in such a busy city. It was literally loud outside until 6:30 a.m.
On Saturday morning we set out around 10:00 to see some more of the city. We walked to Palacio Real, a huge palace – this photo is only a tiny part of it:
I was saving my euros (this weekend was incredibly expensive) and opted out of touring it, but Sara and Kyla said it was absolutely gorgeous on this inside as well.
Next we headed to Los Jardines de Sabini, the gardens on the backside of the palace. They were pretty and a nice place to walk around for a bit:
Then we went and saw Templo de Debod, a fourth century temple that was a gift from Egypt to Spain after Spain helped construct one of Egypt’s dams. The temple was cool in theory, but I’m glad we went during free visiting hours.
There’s a park behind the temple, where we took advantage of the view for a photo opportunity:
We returned to the hostel for lunch and a siesta before wandering again in the evening, this time to La Reina Sofia, a museum filled with abstract art. Apparently abstract art isn’t my thing (which makes sense, given my very literal personality), but I still enjoyed the museum. Seeing Pablo Picasso’s Guernica was very cool – it’s gigantic!
After the museum we got dinner and once again called it an early night. I’m really not a “going out” type of person. I knew that before coming to Spain, but being here has solidified it. I’d rather stay in any day, even when I have the opportunity to check out the Spanish nightlife. On top of that, Madrid is so incredibly crowded. The streets are always packed, and I don’t do well with crowds…needless to say, big cities are not for me! Give me sleepy little Santander (which is plenty big to me) any day of the week. Or, even better, give me sleepy little Corvallis! (Only 32 more days, for anyone else who’s counting.)
On Sunday we took our time getting up because we had to check out of the hostel at noon. Luckily the hostel’s manager was very nice and let us keep our bags there so we didn’t have to carry them around the city all day.
We headed to Plaza Mayor in the morning, one of the oldest spots in the city:
Unable to return to the hostel for a siesta, we went to Plaza del Sol and relaxed by the fountains for a bit:
We then continued our wandering, seeing more pretty buildings of Madrid:
Eventually Kyla and I split off from the group, braving the metro to go to Plaza de Toros to see a bullfight.
First of all, the building itself was another masterpiece:
And the bullfight itself was also quite a masterpiece. I know what you’re all thinking – Abbie at a bullfight? Does she know they kill the bulls at those? (To answer your question, yes, I did know.)
It was such an amazing experience though. Was it uncomfortable to watch the bulls get taunted and then killed? Yes. But did I appreciate the culture and history of it? Yes.
Bullfighting is really an art. It starts with the weight and brand of the bull being displayed to the spectators. I don’t know kilogram conversions, but these bulls were huge – the biggest was 590 kilos.
After this, the bull is let into the ring and the first fighters (I think they’re more amateur, but I don’t know for sure) tease the bull to get him riled up. They take turns waving their pink capes in front of the bull, dashing behind protective barriers and sometimes hopping over the wall to avoid getting hurt.
[[These are going to be my last pictures from the bullfight. I took more, but don’t think everyone would like to see them…if you want to see them, I’ll show you when I get home.]]
After this initial teasing, two horses are ridden into the ring. The horses are blindfolded, and I assume sedated as well. They are decked out in some pretty impenetrable armor. The bull, seeing an animal near its own size, charges at the horse. The rider’s job is to use a spear to stab the neck of the bull (above its shoulders) in order to force it to lower its head. This happens twice, and then the horses leave the ring. The final bull (the biggest) ended up knocking the rider off the horse as it almost lifted the horse completely.
It was amazing to watch the teamwork of the bullfighters here – if ever anyone is in danger, they run out from their hiding places, yelling and waving their capes so no one gets trampled by the bull (although the first bullfighter got partially run over during his first fight. He was fine, but it was really intense to watch).
Next, three different fighters use their bodies to attract the bulls as their try to stick the bull with barbed sticks. After these are in the bull, he is sufficiently riled up – snorting, dragging his hooves in anger – and the final fighter enters the ring by himself.
The final fighter is what I would consider the “master” fighter. He has a red cape that he uses to taunt the bull, and his goal is to stab it with two different swords right above his neck. I know this seems mean, but it really is a calculated art form. The way the fighter moves is almost like a dance, and it looks very graceful.
Finally, once the bull has been stabbed twice, three other fighters come out and help the one with the red cape to confuse the bull enough until it falls over and is then put out of its misery.
Doesn’t sound like something I’d like, right? I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Yes, it seems rather cruel to torture a poor animal, but I love how rooted in tradition it was, and how innately Spanish it was. I was really amazed by it, and glad I went.
After the bullfight, Kyla and I met up with Sara and Becca to pick up our bags from the hostel. From there we took three different metros to get to the airport (way cheaper than the bus/cab combo we used to get from the airport to our hostel on the first day). We couldn’t check in until about 4:30 this morning, and spent the night on the airport floor.
Thanks to my ability to sleep anywhere, I got a decent nap in…I woke up at least once an hour and probably only got three-and-a-half hours of sleep total because, let’s be real, the cold, hard tile floor of the Madrid airport is not comfortable. My friends don’t have my ability to sleep anywhere, so they stayed awake and made sure we didn’t get mugged. There were so many people camped out in the airport with us – looks like no one wanted to pay for a hostel the night before an early flight!
We flew out of Madrid at 6:40 a.m. (I slept from before take-off and through the landing, sans Dramamine!) and arrived in Santander at 7:45. We shared a cab home, where I immediately ate breakfast, took a shower, and unpacked.
All in all, it was a great weekend in Madrid. The girls I spent it with and I have become great friends, and we really enjoy each other’s company. Madrid itself was nice too – more English was spoken than I would have liked (it seemed like most people in shops and restaurants, as well as police officers and museum workers could speak English), and there were a lot of tourists (we heard accents and languages from all over the place while we wandered the city). I sometimes have trouble wrapping my mind around the concept that people actually live in the cities of Spain – the lack of actual houses and the fancy-looking apartment buildings make it seem like every building is some hotel or important government residence.
Oh and Zach, just so you don’t miss a shout-out, I got your present this weekend :) You too, Jonny, Grandma, Gwen and Dru, Tanya and Vern, and Dad. Mom, you are still proving to be the most difficult person in the world to shop for – thanks for that!
Today is a lazy day here, which is much needed after the hubbub of this weekend. May 2 is a holiday in Spain, so the city is pretty quiet. Madrid probably isn’t because it was there on May 2, 1808 that Luis Daoiz and Pedro Velarde lost their lives attempting to take back control of Madrid from France. This battle started the War of Independence against the French. Or something like that…anyway, the Plazas were starting to get bleachers and things set up in them yesterday afternoon, so I’m assuming stuff was happening there today.
Anyway, this means that shops are closed, and with the clouds that are filling the sky right now, I’m guessing that the streets are pretty empty as well. This afternoon I’m hoping to be able to find Internet somewhere and post this so you all can see what I’ve been up to!
It’s been a busy weekend and I’m glad to be “home”. I’m also glad to have reached the halfway point of my trip (it came and went on Friday). Don’t get me wrong – I like Spain. I love that I’m able to spend a lot of time here, getting immersed in the culture rather than only being able to experience a few weeks’ worth as a tourist. I just know I don’t belong here.
A lot of people on this trip love everything about it and aren’t even looking forward to leaving. This trip has solidified what I already knew about myself – I’m a homebody and I crave being near my loved ones. It also solidified something I didn’t know for sure – I don’t like big cities.
I’m really glad I’m on this trip, and that I’ve toughed it out during the rough moments. But I know that home is where the heart is, and my heart is always going to be in Oregon. I know that sounds cheesy…but I also know that it’s true. I believe that there probably are people who are born in one place but find somewhere they belong somewhere completely different. Luckily, I was born somewhere I know I belong. I don’t have to see any more of the world to know that, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to explore more.