My favorite part about any experience is that you always come back home a different person, and it is always for the better. Regardless of what you did during your time abroad, regardless of what you had to deal with and what you enjoyed the most or least, each experience melds you into a better you. The skills you learn from dealing with issues abroad carry on in the rest of your day-to-day tasks. The memories you want to relive help define your interests and your hobbies even further. You learn more about yourself as you learn more about the world.
Before saying my teary goodbyes to the amazing friends I made and the life-changing city I spent over a month in, I was held in a warm embrace and was told, “Never change. Please. Never change.” Such small words lingered in my mind for a while. The sentiment was meant to imply that who I currently am and what I have currently done is enough; I don’t need to change. However, with every new trip I take, every new conversation I have, every new book I read, I have to change. It is these life experiences that shape us to continuously improve. But, it meant so much to me to hear those words. I have done my best, and it is recognized. Bordeaux has taken a part of my heart, but I have taken laughter, memories, and joy in return.