As each day goes by it is beginning to get a little bit easier. I am not quite as emotional about leaving Albania and I have begun to look back on my experience there. I have been swapping stories with other travelers and it’s been good to share about some of my time in Albania. There are things that I miss greatly, but there are also things that I am glad I don’t have to deal with anymore.
Last week I had a swift kick back into first world reality and received a fifty-eight euro fine for not buying a bus ticket in Innsbruck. That is definitely not something that I am used to, but teaches me a lesson. Things are quite as lenient in other parts of the world and it is important to play by the rules. I am sure that as I continue to readjust back into another culture more things like that will continue to happen. I was annoyed, but honestly not even that upset. I didn’t follow the rules and now I have to pay the consequence. There is nothing I can do about it, so no point in dwelling in my mistake.
The same goes for my time in Albania. There is no point dwelling in the past. I have to enjoy this experience. Enjoy the now. And look forward to the future. Just because I am not in Albania doesn’t mean that I won’t continue the relationships with people in Albania that are meaningful to me. I’ve tried to keep in contact with my students and other Peace Corps volunteers. These connections won’t falter just because I am not physically there anymore.
Even though this trip has been long, I think it has been good for me. I do think that this will help me readjust back into American culture and I can honestly say that I am looking forward to getting back to America. Europe is great, but I am ready to be back with my friends and family for a bit. I am excited to have a burrito again. I can’t wait to go up to the mountains and hopefully reconnect with a few of my Peace Corps friends back in the states (especially my Colorado buddies Susan and Paul). I think grad school was the right decision and I think that going back to school will be hard, but rewarding. My future is bright. It’s time to look back on my past with feelings of fondness and appreciation, rather than missing something. Everything changes in life, but I have to just take solace in the fact that I know everything will work out for the best.