"Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened."

This time two years ago I was in Spain embarking on the scariest journey of my life that in the end, thought me more about me than I thought it ever would. These were some thoughts when I returned to Canada in June 2013.

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Awhile ago someone posted this on Facebook and it’s completely accurate. The year abroad is over, and although I am very, very glad to be back home, I miss Spain. I miss a lot of that time where I met so many people from all over the world, where I learned things about them and their countries that I never would have learned otherwise. I miss the freedom I had, the ability to go where I wanted when I wanted. I miss the sunshine (when we had it) and not having to drive or take public transit to get where I needed to go. I miss my view, the old and the new mixed together. I miss the history, the stories that the red tile and beige bricks tell, I miss the river by which people gathered and ate and drank. I miss the language, as bad as I am at Spanish. I miss my faculty, not so much how it’s run, but the beauty of it and the strange feeling of walking out of an exam being greeted by a group of tourists, exploring the things which to me had become mundane as a part of my daily routine. I miss my friends. I don’t know the next time we will see each other. I guess that’s what Dr. Seuss (to whom the quote is attributed), meant by don’t cry that it’s over. I’m not the type to cry at the end of these sort of experiences, but it does make me sad to think it will be a long time before I see any of these people again or Spain itself. But then I smile, because I am glad that I have these things to miss, that I had the opportunity to travel and immerse myself in new things. I smile because I have new friends who I can talk to and will be there when I need them, wherever we might be. I smile because I am grateful. And I smile because it happened.

I also smile because, well, sangria.

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