There are less than 2 weeks left in the program, and I do not know exactly how I feel about that. Some part of me is very excited to go back home, but another significant part of me wants more time in Sevilla. The truth is, I have finally started to feel more comfortable with the routine I have here in Spain. In these past few months, I have developed a place in my heart for Seville as my home. Of course, where I was born (Japan) and where I live (Hawaii) are my forever homes, but now I have added a new one to where I feel comfortable.

Every time I go to new countries or even other cities, returning to Sevilla gives me comfort and excitement to be back in town. I went to Italy and Portugal this semester, and though each place had its own fascinating uniqueness and beauty, I felt excited to come back to Seville. Realizing that this is the exact same feeling I have whenever I go back to Hawaii or Japan made me comprehend that now I have a new place to call home.

If you look up the meaning of “home,” it will tell you “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.” This is one way to define what home is, but I think there are no exact definitions because everyone has their own. Home is a feeling where you have a sense of belonging and peace, bringing you joy from the people and the environment. It’s more of a spiritual feeling that you can connect with the location, and I definitely feel that now. Making close friends and building a community that makes me feel safe and become my unique self has been one of the hardest journeys I have ever gone through, but I am so glad that I have had this opportunity. It has helped me discover not just myself, but different points of view from a global perspective.

It may sound cliché, but you have to start a journey outward in order to find your true self inside. My goal for coming here was to find out who I really am and to discover what I am capable of. In times of need I have always relied on my mother or on my friends back home. Having to rely on myself here has been hard at times. There have been bumps in the road, and I have had moments when I’ve felt down, but because I have overcome hardships and have relied on myself I now feel stronger and more positive in my own capabilities than ever before. Although I am sad to end the semester and say goodbye to friends and places, I now know that whenever I am ready to return, I will always be welcomed back home to Seville.

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