- Hi I’m Amber, & if you want to travel abroad I want to talk to you. I don’t care if you don’t read the rest of my blog post, I want you to know that moving abroad (particularly as an au pair) is so much fun, so difficult, but so rewarding. And if you’re contemplating what to do next, I would love to talk to you because I’ve been there and it’s frustrating but it’s a really great place to be because you have so many options.
- Home will always be home. I am surprised how, after almost a year, everything at home still feels so normal. Waking up in my own bed with my dog at my feet. Drinking long coffees in the morning. Driving my car. Being with my FAMILY again. In the same house. It’s great. I am loving it. It has been an adjustment. Instead of riding my bike 10 minutes to a bar to meet a friend for drinks after work, I’m driving my car 30 minutes to meet a friend for coffee. You go to Target or Panera and you’re almost guaranteed to see someone you know. But really, I am loving this time of being back home in the small town of Lanc. It will always be home.
- Friendships and social groups. I’ve come to appreciate my closest friends from home more than ever. It takes a lot of work to continue a friendship through only texting and face-time calls. And I’ve found now that I’m back, that one of the side effects of being gone for almost a year, is that you really are kind of out of sight, out of mind. As humans, I’ve realized, a lot of our friendships are based solely on our daily or weekly interaction with people. Don’t believe me? Try it, I dare you. Remove yourself from everything familiar and see how many people continue to check in with you. So I find myself in this awkward in-between where a lot of people here know who I am, but very few people actually know me past what they see on Instagram.
- Marriage. I am absolutely exaggerating here but I feel as though 70-90% of the people I know in Lancaster that are in my age range are getting married or engaged. While I am not at all against young love (seriously, I think it’s romantic and sweet and great and I am happy for you), I want to say something to those of you who feel like you’re missing out, like you’re doing something wrong. IT IS OKAY. YOU ARE DOING GREAT. I remember wanting to settle down young, I was so envious of the high school sweethearts, the ones who everyone knew would get married. But wow I am so thankful that I did not get what I thought I wanted at the time. I am so thankful that I am taking this time to travel, meet new people, see new places, all the cliché things that people tell you to do while you’re young and single. DO THEM. (so for those of you wondering- no I did not bring a charming Italian boy home for Christmas, I left them all there)
- Coffee. America, you are doing it wrong.
- Yes, I am returning to Milano. No, I don’t know how long I’ll be staying this time. I’m currently pursuing some options for staying long term over there, but nothing is final yet.
Cheers to 2017, friends. May this one be the best one yet for every single one of you.