11:02 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST)
And so ends Study Abroad 2010-2011...
It was strange looking out the plane windows and seeing naught but a vast expanse of white, but what was stranger was the sudden surge of love for the Michigan snow that I usually despise. Walking through Detroit Metro was a foreign experience as I have never flown in from abroad before. Customs was a breeze (thankfully they didn't think that my 12 bags of paprika were concealing cocaine, as I had joked) and I found my luggage without trouble.
I find it's the small things I've missed: free water in restaurants, the yellow glow of our porch light, the magic of high pressure in the shower; the familiar organised-chaos of my room, teetering stacks of well-read books, my fuzzy teddy bears beside my pillow. I cannot contain my smiles in spite of my deep exhaustion and aching muscles, and though I certainly left part of my heart in Budapest, I am glad to have been finally reunited with the part I had left behind here so many months ago.
It doesn't feel all that different. Of course, it is different, leaving a European city and returning to the American suburbs, but I almost feel as though I had never been away. Everything is the same as it was when I left it, and it is both comforting and disconcerting. Comforting because it shows that some things never change, yet disconcerting because I now fear that I will have to face the monotony of normal life, with nothing to explore and nothing new to see...
But I am home. I am back in cold, snowy, boring Michigan and I could not be happier about it. And yet I will dream of bright yellow trams screeching along their rails, great bridges spanning across a rushing river, and hills rising protectively above the city for a long time to come. I will forever cherish the experience Budapest has given me, and I will miss it with all my heart.
My hunger for adventure is not sated; not in the least. But the end of this particular adventure has come, and with it the end of this blog. I thank all of you, my readers, for your comments and interest, and I hope that you were able to enjoy my journey just as much as I did.
Hungary, I bid thee a fond farewell. You have taught me much and I will never forget the lessons I've learned. One hundred sixty-one days were not nearly enough... I hope we meet again someday, my dear friend. ♥
BSCS: August 28, 2010-February 5, 2011.