Returning After Living Abroad

Posted in Story Time on February 3, 2010 by Angel Flores

Returning after being abroad can be difficult depending on, I think, a lot of different reasons. I was abroad for 5 and a half months, basically living what had become a dream of mine since childhood. Living in Europe was a great experience, I would even call it life changing, and it changed my perspective on so many things. If you allow it to, I think studying abroad, traveling, immersing yourself in other cultures, and meeting people from around the world, can truly teach you much about yourself, other people, and the world.

To re-enter the United States is a strange process, and I think it is maybe as valuable as the experience of being abroad in the first place. To be honest, it has been a come-down. I am now back in Amherst, MA, a small town population 30,000, it is bitterly cold and has snowed quite a few times since I returned already. My campus, Hampshire College, is extremely sparse, the student body is small and the campus is small and pretty boring. I have to get back into the routine of things, taking the same paths everyday, to the same 2 or 3 buildings I go to every week, seeing the same few people who I know here. It is a change, from being abroad and living a life completely different from mine, traveling through Spain, Portugal, Italy, and going to Paris…

But this is life. Getting through the monotony of it is difficult, but I have to try. I have a lot of academic issues, trying to start on my thesis means getting together a lot of papers from the past 3 years, writing a retrospective on what I’ve done so far in my undergrad career, a bunch of bureaucratic processes, and finishing up a paper for a class I took a year ago. Can any of it compare to walking through the Louvre, or the Vatican Museum, or simply having fun with a friend riding around on our bicycles at Midnight?

The answer is no, but also, this must be accepted, it cannot be fought against. This is my life now, back here in the Middle of Nowhere, the only thing I can focus on is working hard, so that I can get my degree at the end of the year. Then I can be free again.

NOTE: Mari I miss you! It is my first semester here without you, I hope everything is well in Colombia! Rest assured, I am extremely jealous, but happy for you, living your dreams.


Last Week I was in Paris

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1, 2010 by Angel Flores


That’s all I have to say.

Back in the U.S.

Posted in Story Time on January 29, 2010 by Angel Flores

I have been back “home” now for two days, and it has been a strange experience to say the least. As I was running errands today, the spatial context of where I was and the huge difference it is with Europe really hit me. I’m happy to be back here, but only because I want to finish school as soon as I can, without any other mistakes. The concept of home is a funny one. Here, I don’t live with my parents, except for a week here and there, and I’m only home with my aunt during breaks. I’ve been living in different places so often, that I really don’t feel any attachment to one certain place, house, city, or anything of the kind. I am certainly attached for my family, I love them dearly, but not to this country. When I returned to Holland, it felt like home for me, I was comfortable there, I knew how to get around, and there were people familiar to me. What I know now for sure is people make all the difference, not any particular building or set of buildings. I’m not ready to stay in just one place, and I am looking forward to moving on from here again, traveling a bit more, and meeting other people from cultures different from my own.

I already can’t wait for my next holiday…

In Holland

Posted in Story Time on January 26, 2010 by Angel Flores

Wow, I was so happy to get back to Holland, I really missed this country. I know for sure I could have spent another semester here, but real life calls me back in the States. I was a bit sad! There were so many improvements done and I’ll be going back tomorrow. In my old house, they installed a NEW washer and dryer!! And there’s now a Starbucks in Leiden! It couldn’t be any better, but I guess this is the time to go, with good memories and still wanting to be here, rather than bored and ready to go home…It makes it a bit sweeter, and makes me feel happier to have gotten to live here.

Back to Holland…

Posted in Story Time, Travelling on January 25, 2010 by Angel Flores

Well I am on the train from Paris to Amsterdam. I should be arriving there in 2 hours, then I will return to Leiden from there. Its been a long trip, and I’ve spent my entire last month traveling. On the 27th, I have an 8 hour flight back to the United States. I am sure I will have much more to write soon, when I’m back in a more relaxing atmosphere.

Paris was amazing. I loved the city, its very diverse and modern at the same time as keeping its historical past. The views from the Arc de Triumph and Eiffel Tower were breathtaking. The Louvre was massive, and I also enjoyed the museum showcasing 19th century painters such as Renoir, Monet, and Gauguin. Yesterday I went to an expensive restaurant in Paris called Cafe de la Paix ( and tried escargot (snails), don’t worry, there are pictures and video! Champ Elysee maybe trumps New York’s Fifth Avenue and Notre Dame is one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever seen.

Traveling through Europe is over, from the 24th of December, I went to Spain, Italy, Portugal, back to Italy, and finally France. It was my “Grand Tour,” and I know I will remember this experience for the rest of my life.

Where I’ve Been

Posted in Story Time, Travelling on January 20, 2010 by Angel Flores

Holland: Amsterdam, The Hague, Venlo, Leiden

London, England

Italy: Milan, Venice, Rome, Naples, Florence, Pisa, Pompeii

Spain: Madrid & Barcelona

Portugal: Porto, Coimbra, Lisbon

and tomorrow I am going to:



Posted in Travelling on January 19, 2010 by Angel Flores

I’m back in Venice! Talk about a place I never thought I’d return to, at least not in the near future, yet here I am.

And its freezing!