when the honeymoon period ends living abroad

16:52

When the Honeymoon Period Ends Living Abroad

Being honest with myself, I wasn't excited to come back to Salamanca after the Christmas holidays. Not one little bit. By December, I was craving the familiarity of being in England around my friends, family and my boyfriend. I was almost constantly homesick, which is always a bizarre feeling for me when I'm here. I very rarely experienced it when at Southampton, given that I'm only ever an hour away from home, so perhaps the fact that I can't just fly back home when I feel like it makes me crave being able to so much more.

I realised upon returning to my flat that I was experiencing cold feet. In other words, my first few months in Salamanca have been those of discovery, wonder and novelty. I felt only dread and tiredness arriving at the bus station, and these feelings dragged miserably during my first week back. It was partly due to the fact that my friends were either not around because they were revising (which at least encouraged me to revise myself), or because they hadn't yet returned. It was also because I was spending almost every day alone, and the lack of communication with others was frankly driving me crazy.

I've always been a person who likes their personal space and enjoys time alone as much as with other people. However, spending time alone abroad can feel so much more pronounced and this past week I saw it as something entirely negative. I was seeing myself as lonely, not simply alone.

This week everything has changed again. I feel happy and relaxed here, and I'm attempting to view Salamanca with fresh eyes. It's so easy to settle into a routine, by taking the same route into the city, going to the same places to eat, and most of all believing that you don't enough time to do more than what is needed during a week. I easily forget that I have considerably more free time here, given the drastically reduced amounts of credits I have to complete for the university, and the reduced contact hours.

This semester I'm going to make sure I get to know every inch of this beautiful and small city. I'm going to join a new club, make more of an effort to get know more Spaniards (contrary to what I thought previously some of the students are quite nice and really helpful) and try to see the city like a tourist, not as a resident. There are also so many tapas bars that I have yet to try, which can only enhance the whole experience!

Of course, I still experience days where I just want to be at home in my comforting bubble. It's a completely normal feeling, given how far I away I am it's easy to want what you can't do right in that moment. However, studying here so far has improved my confidence in so many ways, especially in terms of speaking Spanish. I don't regret choosing the city and for the most part I really enjoy living in Salamanca. It's important that I remember how far I've come since arriving and why I chose to do this, and hopefully, I can fall in love with the city again.

Have you experienced cold feet abroad? How did you work through it? Thanks for reading!

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2 comments

  1. I haven't studied abroad yet, but I can totally understand how you feel. Sometimes it's just so much nicer to stay in your comfort zone and it just makes me uncomfortable to step that little bit out of there.
    I'm happy that you've found your way again though in Salamanca and I hope you'll enjoy the rest of your stay, because it seems like a once in a lifetime experience.

    Love, Eline | www.elinesreturnticket.blogspot.com

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  2. Yes yes yes! Agree with everything you've said here. Was dreading coming back to Paris after going home for Christmas but I've decided that actually 3 months isn't all that long to do all the things I want to do so I'm going to make the most of it! Hope you're enjoying yourself :)

    Laura @ What's Hot?
    (@whatshotblog from Instagram!)

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