Chau, querido

In The Art of Travel Spring 2017, 15. Farewells, Buenos Aires by Alexandra G

Going home is always so strange. Whether I have a great or terrible time, for me, it’s still strange. If the time passed wasn’t so great, I think, “I should’ve given it another chance. I should’ve taken advantage of everything.” If the time passed was great, I think, “I’ll miss it.”

Going home is so strange because I never really know what I’ll come home to. This is my fourth semester abroad. I spend nearly every summer away. In terms of friends and family, I don’t know what I’m missed out on in their lives. They don’t know what I’ve seen or felt or been through and what they’ve missed out on in my life.

Going home is so strange because there’s always a goodbye.With just a mere countdown of days left, I over-romanticize every moment that I’ve had. It may be a good way to look at things, but it nearly falsifies an experience. Goodbyes are frightening. You never know if you’ll return, what will be different, or who will be there. The place you are leaving and the situation that you’re in won’t ever be the same. Change is normal, healthy and can lead to new adventures, but is also a constant reminder that time is just always ticking.

Going home will be strange because Buenos Aires became some sort of home. Buenos Aires became comfortable to be. Buenos Aires think it has the cutting edge feeling of New York, but to me feels like a terribly friendly city with trees and sunshine and an overwhelming amount of puppies.

Going home will be strange because the friends that I’ve made here have become so close. They’ve been the closest thing to family that I’ve had. We’ve shared experiences that I’ve never had with anyone else. We stumbled over our Spanish uncomfortably, laughed at our own mistakes until crying, laughed at how bad of hikers we are to the point of actually crying from soreness and/or delirium, spent way too many nights wandering the streets of BA, listened to way too much J Balvin/Maluma/Nicky Jam/Daddy Yankee, eaten way too many empanadas, taken way too long of bus rides, etc. etc. etc.

Going home will be strange because I won’t be living with a smushed face cat and a make-up artist. My host dad will not be around to yell “OH MY GOD SO CUTE!!!!!” at me for no reason. I will not have a little demon/alien/cat scratching at my door and shedding all over everything I own.

Going home will be strange because I don’t have the academic center to run to when I have to study or vent or waste time with friends. I won’t have the same professors that have changed my view on life and on my academics so much. I won’t see the staff that I’ve seen nearly every Monday-Thursday since August.

Going home will strange because it will finally be the end of my undergraduate study abroad experience that has changed my life so much. I will not leave for a semester at a time for quite a while. I will not be living out of my suitcases and travel pouches.

The most rewarding experience was learning so much about a country’s painful history and a culture that I had never known, along with making so much progress with my Spanish. The biggest problem I faced was the challenging academic experience in Spanish that at times made me feel extremely overwhelmed and overworked. When I get home, I promise myself to stop taking things so seriously. Something that I will probably take notice of is the amount of terrible stereotypes about Latin America. Years from now, I will remember the incredible time I had living with my host dad who has become so special to me. Lastly, the best thing NYU can do to make study abroad better would be [somehow] more immersion, to make it an exchange program and not just a global site.

With that, chau for now mi Buenos Aires querido.

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  • Obelisco: Alexandra G