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What I will Bring Home (That Won't Fit in a Suitcase)

I was in my Oceanography class when my professor said to us, “Well, this is our last class before our midterm, so good luck.” Interestingly enough, I was less worried about the midterm and more worried about fact I have less than a month left abroad.
I have spent three months here, and in a few weeks, the Gaby that will return home to Southern California will not be the same one who clutched her passport nervously as she got on a plane with an almost crippling fear. Of course, I do not look very different, and I do not speak differently. However, there is something in me that has changed. The girl who went through the drive through because she was unwilling to walk inside a restaurant will now be willing to walk 15 minutes to get ingredients to cook.
 Walking to the store in Antibes

The fried chicken and fries from Chick-fil-A has turned to stir fry and chicken curry. I will no longer roll my eyes at tourists in Venice beach, but rather, I will try to be warm and welcoming and many were to me as they could tell I was struggling to figure out very simple things.
 Aqueduct ducks
 Thumbs Up for London

My friends will tap their feet as I take an hour to drink my coffee at a cafe. In fact, I will most likely take me longer to do just about everything. I have learned the importance of enjoying simple pleasures. I will take my time with everything except walking because I have been forced to learn the art of speed walking.
 Enjoying a coffee break with the boys in Italy
 My cappuccino in Italy

In addition, I will be carving out time for myself which is not something I did much a couple months ago. I will let myself indulge in painting and or walking to the beach while listening to whatever kind of music I want.
 Enjoying solitude with my feet in
the Mediterranean Sea

Lastly, I will probably want to see everything. I have tasted a little bit of what the world has to offer. I want to see all the diverse pieces of the world. Those at home should expect me to constantly be planning to visit new places and try new things.
 Girls Walking Down the Street

People told me that when I went abroad, I was going to change. I don’t know what I imagined would happen; maybe I thought I was going to have a whole new personality. Although I may be a little more quiet than when I left home, I have so much to say about my time here. I will return a more cultured, healthy, self-aware, and relaxed person with a terrible case of wanderlust.

Gabriella Gebo is the Spring 2017 CEA MOJO Blogger in French Riviera, France (Sophia Antipolis) in French Riviera, France (Sophia Antipolis), and is currently studying at Vanguard University.
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