Life After Pamplona

May 21, 2019
• by
Michelle Naeem

Leaving abroad is already a roller-coaster of emotions but coming back two days before graduation is flat out overwhelming. For me, there was this sense of happiness because I was graduating but the other part of me didn’t want to leave my life in Pamplona behind. I had developed this routine abroad and now I had to learn to settle back into my previous life. I came back because of graduation, otherwise I would not have set foot back in the U.S.A until the next school semester. Suddenly, when you come back, it isn’t enough anymore. I now have this constant urge to travel, to learn, and live a life beyond the norm.

The week I came back flew by so fast that before I knew it I had graduated. Time moves so fast that I didn’t get a moment to take in the experiences I had just went through. There was no sense of slowing down and now I’m constantly going places and being a tourist in my own city. What I learned abroad has become my new normal: travel, learn, eat and repeat. I know that this all sounds so dramatic but the journey I went through abroad was truly a life changing experience. It taught me that I live an incredibly blessed life and that spending my last days abroad in Algarve, Portugal was not a bad way to end my undergraduate career.


It has been only a week but now I’m preparing for my life as a business professional in Seattle, Washington. One thing that abroad did for me was make me so accustomed to change that it is now completely normal to pick up my stuff and move states. Before there was this sense of hesitation but now I’m not afraid of the future, change, or anything else anymore. I accept uncertainty with open arms. It is almost brings a sense of comfort not knowing what comes next because that was what my life abroad was like: consistently changing, throwing curve balls and teaching me to keep moving forward. 

I experienced a semester filled with life lessons that I will always carry with me. They were some of the most beautiful lessons a girl could ask for and I’m stronger because of it. This blog might seem so cliché but all the memes we see about people returning from study abroad accurately represent us. I am now moving forward with a clear picture of what I want out of my life, something that was a fog before.

Go study abroad, it will be an amazing chapter in your life. And as one of my best friends told me “Stretch yourself and exceed your comfort. That is when the most self-discovery will happen. You are capable of so much.” <<-- This is what study abroad dreams are made of. 

See you somewhere in the world. Peace!