Saying goodbye was a lot harder than I thought it would be.
I’ve been staying in Colombia for four to six month periods for over two years, so my grandma had gotten used to me visisting on a daily basis, accompanying her to lunch and doctors appointments, and leaving my shoes and school work all over the apartment. My grandma is going to be 80 in March, so the likelyhood that anyone in my family will ever be able give her company the way I was able to is probably pretty low. She’ll have to get used to doing her groceries, eating lunch, and even watching TV on her own again, and it makes me sad that she has to be so far away in her old age.
Saying goodbye to my boyfriend was also hard because we’ve shared an apartment for the last nine months and we got used to seeing each other every day, but it was sad in a different way. I know our story will continue here and we are only separated for a relatively short period of time while his visa paperwork goes through and I get settled back into my life here in the U.S.
I know I’ve been a little hard on Colombia over the last few months, but there are things I will actually miss. For example, neighborhood tienditas. This being America, there tend to be strict zoning laws, which means I unfortunately can’t open a convenience store in my garage and have to get in my car if I get a craving for beef jerky or anything else. Also, there is no neighborhood tiendita delivery service for when I’m feeling too lazy to walk the 1/4 block. Also, when will I ever be able to live in the center of the city in a nice building with a security guard for $335 a month again? Probably never. I will likely never again live somewhere where I’m surrounded by 10,000 feet high pine mountains, or where I can go from cold to hot weather in less than an hour. I’ve been here for a week and no one has said a single thing about my blue eyes. I don’t even think anyone notices. There is a certain alegria that exists in Colombia that doesn’t exist here. It’s hard to describe…it’s not so much happiness or even joy, but a way of seeing the world and acting that we cold northern hemispherians will probably just never fully understand.
Lastly, my lovely, relaxing, nomad lifestyle is coming to an end as I leave behind Latin America and embrace a hard-working, more traditional future here in the U.S. So, in a sense, it’s the end of an era in my life. No more global traveler/nomad/free spirit. If everything goes as planned, I will be a full-time employee, full-time student and full-time wife soon. Luckily, I lived that phase of my life out enough that I am perfectly content to be tied down and mediocre in the eyes of other would-be writers and world travelers. All I really want at this moment is to do whatever I do really well, to be responsible and hard-working and to become a fully-realized, balanced person. I still want to go to Paris and the English countryside and many others places, but I think I’ve reached a point where I can travel and not imagine moving away and starting over in some exotic location.