Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's a strange feeling

Being nearly a week away from having been in Hungary for 8 months is one of the weirdest feelings I think I've ever felt. I look back on my time here and realize there is so much that I've done... so much of it that I've already forgot and so much that I never will. I remember sitting in McDonald's in Budapest after the Venice trip with a few other exchange students saying things like "I can't believe we've already been here for eight weeks!" and "56 days doesn't sound too long but it really is!"

Knowing that I only have 76 days left here is hard. I am not ready to leave, but in some ways, I am. I am sadly not as good as speaking Hungarian as I thought I would be, but I can understand a lot of it. I don't have a lot of friends, I do spend most of my time at home, and I don't go out every weekend. If you asked me which life I liked better, my California life or my Hungarian life, I wouldn't be able to give you an answer. The only thing consistent in both lives is the fact that I'm in them. Even who I am is completely different depending where I am.

Looking back on my time here, I can see that I've changed a lot. I'm so much more open to doing things I otherwise had no interest in, I've gained a much larger curiosity about seeing different parts of the world, I've learned a lot about America and the way it's perceived from the outside, as well as a lot about Hungary and the way they view themselves. It's a lot to take in, really. I constantly feel my brain being stretched to understand so much more than I'm used to and at times I want to give up and go back to my easy life.

Before I came to Hungary, I wrote this:
I think the hardest thing about all of this is knowing that no matter what, I'll never be at the position I'm at now. I'll never be exactly the way I am now. I'll never have the exact same friends and relationships and feelings. I won't come back from Hungary and feel the way I do now. That kind of scares me.
Reading it again, it makes me really sad because it's all true. I don't have the same friends as I did when I was in California. The majority of people I considered to be my close friends haven't spoken to me in months. And while it's hard to accept that they have lives outside of me, I have no other options, really. My second host mom would talk to me about my friends from home and ask if it made me sad that I lost contact with so many people. I told her that yes, it broke my heart, but if they really cared about me they'd make an effort, and that there's still a chance that when I come home things will be close to like they were. There are some days when I mourn over the loss of my past life. I just sit in my room, think of all the things I could've done back home, think about my mom and my friends and my cats, and sometimes get angry at myself for leaving it all. And then I look at the things I've done here. I've been to Italy, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, and after this weekend will have been to Slovakia and Poland. I've met amazing people who I can't imagine my life without, I've gained three new wonderful families, and I've had so many opportunities to do things I never thought I would.

It's weird to think of all the things I've done and know that I was the one who's done them. It seems like the past 8 months have been a dream. I'm scared to leave Hungary, to be honest. Scared to death. If things now seem like a dream, I imagine when I'm home and away from it all it's going to be so much harder to believe it all happened. I can't even imagine what it will be like. I try to just take everything here one day at a time, but it's hard.

Monday, April 9, 2012

New family and a bit of traveling

Last Monday I changed families to my third and final family! It was a really weird feeling knowing that the next time I packed everything up would be when I was leaving Hungary. I also realized I have a lot of pointless things that I've kept that I really could throw away (old papers from my Hungarian lessons, receipts, train tickets, etc) but I want to keep them. Anyway, the move was easier than the last one. It did really hurt to have to leave, but I was able to handle it a lot better. My new family is really nice and I think I'll enjoy living here.

I just got home yesterday from spending a few days in Croatia with my host family! They have a flat there so we will probably go back two more times. We visited Trieste in Italy one day and walked around there, which was really nice. The weather was pretty cold and cloudy the whole time, so we didn't get to stay by the ocean much. Overall it was a really good trip and I look forward to going back.

So I'm not really in the mood for blogging but I'll try to write more soon since I haven't written in awhile. I leave for a Rotary weekend in Poland on Friday so I'll try to write before then!