It. Was. Amazing.

I have been thinking about how I was going to write this post for a while now.

Before I get into the emotional journey that will be writing the end of this last blog post for my time abroad, let’s talk about my most recent trip: Amsterdam!! I had been looking forward to this trip for months because my friends, Nikki, Lena, and myself planned our trip to this cool city around the concert of one of my favorite Hip Hop artists, J. Cole.

We arrived late in Amsterdam on Thursday so we didn’t really get much done. The next morning, Friday, Nikki and I woke up early and went for my 5th 10k run, in my 5th (but actually 6th) country, in my 5th month in Europe. We ran through the gorgeous, green fields outside the city of Amsterdam and enjoyed good conversation and perfect weather and…. I DID IT. Upon completion, I remembered setting my goal of five 10ks, in five countries, in five months and I remembered thinking that the day I would complete this goal was so far away. I feel very accomplished that I stuck to my goal, but the accomplishment is bittersweet because time really did fly by.

After our run, my friends and I ate an amazing brunch and bounced around the city all day. Honestly, we didn’t see too many museums or monuments because we were all just interested in walking around and truly experiencing Amsterdam (aside from the Red Light District, I was a little freaked out by that one).

Saturday was started off with another crazy good brunch, and after eating, we went about exploring the city more (and eating our weight in stroopwaffels) until it was time to get ready for the concert. When my friends and I got to the concert venue, we realized that we had purchased front row tickets to see J. Cole without even knowing it. I don’t have any pictures of the concert because I was too busy fan-girling the whole time to take pics.

The next day, Sunday, it was time to leave Amsterdam and head back to Madrid. Amsterdam is definitely tied with Lisbon for my favorite European city outside of Spain. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to cap off my travels abroad.

Now, the part I’ve been dreading to admit to myself, let alone write about… How am I supposed to do justice to the continuous adventure that has been the past five months of my life? Pictures will never truly capture the beauty I’ve seen and words will never really describe the experiences I’ve had. I was only able to come up with three words to sum up my life abroad, IT.WAS.AMAZING.

Although a semester is a relatively short period of time, I consider my time in Europe a chapter of my life. One that I am not excited to close, but one that I will forever be grateful to have had. I have seen some of the most beautiful places on earth, I have made some amazing friendships that I hope to hold for the rest of my life, and I have learned more about myself than I could have ever imagined. I want to thank my parents for making this possible for me and for encouraging me to see the world without reservations and also the friends I’ve met here (if y’all are reading this you know who you are) for supporting me when I needed it, pushing me to break out of my comfort zone, and truly making my experience; it definitely would not have been as good with out all of you.

I will be traveling back to the United States on Saturday. I’m having a really hard time realizing how long I’ve been gone and that the time has finally come for me to return. I am, however, more excited than anything to see my friends and family back home. I feel like I have gained a new appreciation of the people that matter to me at home having been so far away. See you soon, guys. I’m making a short stop in Albuquerque (HELLOOOO Fronteir Burritos) before I make it back to Austin on the 24th.

It has come time to close this chapter of my life. I know that I will most likely never get to experience Europe in this sense ever again, but I have promised myself to continue traveling, and to continue seeing the world. Out of all of the places I’ve visited, Spain will always have my heart and I look forward to the day I return. It’s not adios, it’s hasta luego.

España, siempre conmigo.