Tomorrow I will leave the city I have come to know as my “home away from home.” I cannot believe how fast this semester flew by!! It feels like not so long ago I was just getting to know my host family and unpacking my bags…and today – my host family really does seem like my second family, I am almost done repacking my suitcases. (It blows my mind that my entire life for the past 4 months is going to fit into two suitcases, by the way.) Lately all I have wanted to do is soak in this city as much as I can. I spent most of this past week spending time with my host family and revisiting my favorite spots in the city – getting a glass of wine with friends at our favorite bars, grabbing a coffee and people watching on Gran Via solo, and watching Disney movies in Spanish with my host family. I don’t know the next time I will be back in Bilbao, so I needed to do all my favorite things one last time before I left!
It blows my mind how transformative this semester was for me. I learned a new language, made a new city in a foreign country my home, gained confidence and courage I didn’t even know I had in me, and formed relationships with amazing people who have touched my life forever. It is unbelievable to me that I am leaving to return to the United States in less than eight hours, simply because I can’t imagine myself having a life in another place other than Bilbao! As much as I am looking forward to being in Virginia with my family and friends, I am sad to say goodbye to this city. However – I am trying not to think of it as goodbye. It is just: “Hasta luego, Bilbao! Hasta la proxima vez.”