After nine challenging, invigorating, and eye-opening months in Salamanca, I am going back to the U.S. I never thought all these goodbyes would be so hard, and I never anticipated the feeling of loss. But alas, it’s time to say goodbye and start a new chapter, so here are nine ways to do it.
1. Big hug, 2 besos, and a couple of tears.
2. Taking a final walk past the cathedrals, down to the Roman Bridge, up past the stained-glass Casa Lis, meandering along the Rua Mayor and finally, taking a seat in the Plaza to think about all the amazing adventures you had in every corner of this city.
3. Buying as many souvenirs as will fit in your already overweight suitcase so that you can reminisce about every moment for years to come.
4. Take pictures of all your favorite spots and people, while trying not to think that this is the last time you will visit these places.
5. Sit in the Plaza Mayor for tapas, savoring a final croquette and fluently speaking with the staff.
6. Buy a gift for your wonderful host mother, who has helped you, fed you, and kept you safe for a whole year.
7. Look back at all the schoolwork from the beginning of the year and compare it to your stellar new language skills.
8. Join in singing with the Tuna bands that roam the sunny streets.
9. Say, Hasta Luego! with a smile, because you’ll be back.