I thought I knew exactly what to expect. In first year I lived with loads of exchange students, and I'd witnessed lots of partying, travelling and general debauchery. All the cliché language barriers and culture jokes came up on a regular basis, there was a lot of gossip, tears, laughter and the like. Basically, I'd been given the impression of the typical L'auberge Espagnole year abroad and that all seemed rather appealing to me; a well-earned break from the ongoing stress of the last few years of my life.
I didn't know how wrong I could be. Instead I ended up taking part in a failed uprising, being shot at by police, hitch-hiking through the jungle, living without water, crawling through caves, hiding an illegal immigrant, crying my way through the Guatemalan border control, dropping out of uni due to students being shot on campus, rekindling old friendships and making new ones, meeting a best friend who I love unconditionally (even if she does like to turn people into soap) and falling in love with a bunch of salvajes whilst hiding from my accidental drug-dealer boyfriend in Chiapas, who ended up becoming an unshakeable part of my life in DF (the salvajes, not the accidental boyfriend). And all this on top of the usual language struggles, homesickness and other difficulties that come with being the foreign kid in a new country and kind of sucking at the language.
Ignoring the slight blip at Christmas where I was forced to go home, my stay in Mexico totalled just over 10 months. It'd be a lie to say I loved every minute of it because sometimes it was downright painful (running for our lives, the love triangles, bailing people out of jail...), but I can't say I regret a single second. Not surprisingly, I've learned heaps about myself, not to mention an entirely new culture and way of life. Oh, and I kind of speak Spanish now too, which I suppose was the idea of this all along.
#MOMENTOCHEESYI don't know how to thank everyone I met enough for the incredible time I've had. I know the bonds we've made are so much stronger that the distance between us (ew did I really just write that? Too many Mexican feelings) and I know we've got many more exciting times ahead. I'll miss la pobreza, chilaquiles and living my life vicariously through Blair Waldorf more than you can imagine. Ahora son todos un parte de mi corazón y sería imposible olvidar como cambió mi vida con ustedes. Los quiero CHINGOS y los veo para mitzear pronto (Franzi y Anthony sólo dos meses!!) I really have found a new home.
**Video coming soon!**