As I empty the last bit of laundry from my suitcase, retrieve the last sugar packet from that cafe in France or Spain…
sugar packets are great souvenirs. Next week when I open the packet from
Cafe du Coin, in Pau, France, into my cup of espresso, I am Instantly back there!
No, this is Not your grandmother’s sugar-packet-hoarding a la Miami Beach)
Anyway, as I was saying, as I unpack the last six weeks and simultaneously ‘re-enter’ what we left behind, I find myself very reflective and moving at
a slower pace. Six weeks is a long enough time to really get in sync with your host culture, which is exactly what we did.
This wasn’t really a vacation so much as an adventure, a journey, an experience…
and in the process we learned a lot about ourselves, each other, France, Spain, the U.S., the meaning of language and the value of time. We already
knew a thing or two about all of those things, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded.
As I used to tell returning study abroad students who were having some difficulties after returning from a semester, often times a difficult ‘re-entry’ is
the sign of a wonderful and/or intense experience…
I believe that is what we are experiencing now.
Stay tuned for the results of the 6-week, carry-on challenge!