Studying abroad in Oxford, England were some of the best months of my life that I will treasure forever. This is my first semester transitioning back to ACU’s campus in Abilene, and it’s not worse, but it’s definitely different.
We’ve all heard stories of post-travel depression and that is a very real thing for some. It is difficult to go from exploring different countries each weekend while abroad straight into a regular routine upon return to Abilene. I miss the spontaneity, the excitement, the newness, the mysteries of learning about a different culture.
But I also remember feeling sadness and wishfulness for the friends I missed and the familiar ways of Abilene while I was abroad. The best way to combat these emotions is to be present. Wherever you are, whichever season of life you are in right now, in this moment, fight to be present. There are good things to be seen, felt and expected.
To those that may be considering studying abroad next semester or this summer, don’t worry too much about what you might miss out on in Abilene. All my friends were still here waiting for me when I got back and friendships resumed like no time had lapsed. I brought back new friends and memories, as well.
Don’t worry too much about the post-travel depression you hear about either. The truth is, there are struggles you face in Abilene and struggles you face abroad, neither are worse, but different. Surround yourself with people who accept you for where you were, where you are and where you want to go.
Even though I am back in Abilene, I still have a desire for spontaneous adventures, exploring new coffee shops and meeting new people. Those desires haven’t stopped, my experiences abroad have only strengthened them.
Be present wherever you are. That’s where life happens. That’s life that you don’t want to miss.