As I finish up stuffing the last few things into my suitcase in preparations for my flight home tomorrow, there is so much going on in my head! First, I'm running through my packing list to make sure I have everything! It's crazy how many things you can accumulate in just a few short months! Next, I made sure everything is set back home- I have a ride from the airport and even a plan for the weekend already! (It is my Mom's birthday after all!) Finally, I sit down and it all sinks in that I am actually going home!
I have done a lot of reflecting in the past week on my experiences here in Holland. Although I can't wait to go home, see my family and friends, eat familiar foods, and get back to old routines, there are so many things I have learned from and enjoyed while being here. I have gotten to travel around Holland quite a bit and see some pretty cool places. I have gotten to experience the life and culture first hand by not just living here, but by living with a family. I have eaten dutch foods. I learned how to use public transportation. I have learned how to navigate in another language. I learned to make my bicycle my best friend. But the absolute best thing about being here has been all the amazing people I have met. They are what have made my time here and my experiences so enjoyable. I know I will miss them when I am back at home, but I also know I will see them again in a few short months.
One of the biggest things I have learned though is to appreciate everything I have. It's not that I didn't appreciate it before, but being here gave me a whole new perspective on my family, friends, and opportunities I have been given. I appreciate them that much more. Even little things that are often taken for granted, such as being able to just hop in the car and go somewhere, or call a friend on the phone just to chat. If I want to go somewhere, or get into contact with someone at home, it takes a lot more effort: more planning and more time. In the end, it is worth the effort, but it will be nice to be home with all of these privileges again.
So whatever you are doing, wherever you are this holiday season, I hope you enjoy it and appreciate every moment you have with loved ones, family and friends!
That's all for now. I hope all my luggage makes it! Ready or not.. USA here I come!!