“I’m leaving on a jetplane…

…don’t know when I’ll be back again.  Oh babe, I hate to go”.  Those are the lyrics from a song that was sung each year the night before graduation by an a capella group I was in at my high school.  For some reason this was the only thing I could think of as I was packing to leave.  Based on the title of this post you’ve probably already guessed that I’m back in Virginia safe and sound!

It was a long journey, but I made it back to the U.S. three days ago.  I wanted to wait until I was unpacked and settled to thank you all for following me to and from the Netherlands.  I thought I’d start this post by telling you about my trip from the Netherlands to the United States.  What was supposed to be two flights spanning one day turned into two flights spanning two days.  My first flight from Amsterdam to London was delayed approximately an hour and a half because of bad weather in London.

Because of that I missed my connecting flight to the U.S. since my layover in London was only an hour and a half.  Luckily my mom was there to handle it.  She had been in a similar situation dealing with re-booking flights and finding a place to stay for the night.  If she wasn’t there I honestly might have spent the night in the London airport!  Fortunately, I didn’t have to spend the night in the airport, but I did have go back at 4:30 a.m. in order to make my 7:30 a.m. flight.

I managed to get a few hours of sleep on the plane then landed in the U.S.  I thought my long two-day journey was finally over.  It wasn’t.  I waiting at the baggage terminal only to be told that my luggage was still in London!  After filling out a claim I was finally on my way home.  First stop: Chipotle.  There’s not a lot of fast food in Maastricht actually, it’s basically non-existent compared to the U.S.  Towards the end of my trip I was missing fast food for the sheer fact that it meant I didn’t have to cook for at least one meal.  Now that I’ve gotten my fill of fast food and I’m all unpacked, the next thing on my list is to overcome the jet-lag.  For the past few nights I’ve been going to bed around 8 or 9 p.m. (which is 2 or 3 am in the Netherlands) and waking up around 6 a.m.

For those of you who don’t know me, I cherish the weekends because it means I get to sleep in.  Waking up at 6 am is not an ideal time for me, but thankfully I’m slowly overcoming the jet-lag.  Needless to say I’m slowly but surely re-adjusting to being back home.  It’s different from the Netherlands in many ways.  For example, among other things, I’m back to driving instead of walking or biking and the sun goes down earlier.

Even though it was time to come back home and I couldn’t stay in the Netherlands forever (especially since I’m graduating next year) I will truly miss Maastricht and all of the people I met while I was there.  It’s funny how fast a place can become home.  Being in Maastricht and away from everything that was familiar taught me how to be patient.  Maastricht was such a small, slower paced city compared to Richmond.  It was nice going around and seeing people who I knew while I was on my way to school, the grocery store, or home.  It was nice to be able to take my time going somewhere instead of rushing.  That is one thing that I will miss once I’m fully back to reality and have to go to class and work.

Maastricht will always have a special place in my heart, and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to go.  I made the best choice I could have made and have no regrets about my time in Maastricht.  I took advantage of a variety of things that was offered to me and was able to have a well-rounded experience.  Basically what I’m trying to say is that my study abroad experience was something that I am grateful for and it is something that  I will never forget.

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