1 week.

one week left. i have been looking forward to this day for a long time, almost ever since i wrote that first non-refundable check for 100 washingtons that went towards this trip. and obviously now that i’m here i’m a little sad. i wasn’t really expecting it is the weird thing. last night all the kids from the iowa group (and a few non-iowa friends) met together for the last dinner. sean’s leaving today, in fact he’s already on his plane bound for chicago right now. and it was a really bittersweet time. everybody had a blast last night, we started on gascona (a big popular street where people sit outside and drink cider), drinking cider and hanging out and then went to dinner at this restaurant where we met up with luna and paula. we also celebrated luna’s birthday and gave luna and paula picture collages of everyone from the iowa group and signed big cards. i gotta hand some serious cred. to caitlin here, she killed it with the collages and the cards, they all looked professional. top notch work, really. that girl is gonna be a phenom. graphic designer. so we ate dinner, drank, hung out, and then moved on to another club/bar for more dancing and talking. and then sean said goodbye to everybody. sad times.

it’s weird because five months ago, i knew only one of the iowans well at all, and now i feel like we’re a decently tightly-knit group. when you are in a foreign country with a foreign language and foreign customs, you’re bound to attach yourself to whoever’s close. for me that meant this group of kids from uni. kids i would almost certainly have never become friends with had we not come to spain. and obviously once we’re back at school next semester we’ll see each other around campus and hang out but it’s still a little sad. maybe it’s just the fact that once i leave in a week, there is a pretty good chance i will never see this place again in my life. that is a sad thought. last weekend our group went on a small trip to the coast and we explored some sweet caves. they were awesome because we went inside the caves and they went downwards and ended up in this incredibly beautiful cove that led out into the ocean; like ocean water had cut it’s way into this mountainside and we were inside the cove. the tide was actually coming in when we got there so we could only stay there for about half an hour. anyway after exploring the caves we worked our way back up and spent some time on top of the cliffside, looking out on the ocean and the coast. insanely picturesque. it just made me think that there are places, beautiful beyond words, in our world that i have had the chance to see and some that i will never see. it’s such a bittersweet thought that i’m looking down on something beautiful; feeling the wind on the coast and seeing waves crash down on rocks hundreds of feet below me, knowing i’ll never see this place again. that’s what makes me sad about going home. having a newfound confidence from seeing these places, having these memories, and knowing that all i might have to hold onto are the memories from this trip. i might not return. memories could never do the things that i’ve seen justice. the irish coast that sean and i saw will never be as stunning in my mind as it was when we saw it. our world is too big and too beautiful to never see as much of it as you possibly can. i’m so thankful for this semester because i’m so much of a homebody that i might never have found the desire to see more world had i stayed in cedar falls. and that’s something really important to me that i’m taking home, this newfound desire to see and experience our world.

so i’m a bit sad. and also beyond excited to come home. my heart and my head don’t live here in spain, and it will be wonderful to get back into the swing of hard classes and deadlines and fountain soda and singing in my car and all of that. this has been a great experience that i wouldn’t want to lose.

i couldn’t think of any good way to end this blog without sounding cheesy, so i’m doing it like this.

-jon

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