It has been way too long since my last post and I apologize for that. I’ve been extremely busy with getting back into the swing of things. I have been very busy with school, as well as tennis and other activities. In case you didn’t know, I made it made it back to the US! Initially, I had very mixed feelings about coming home because I wanted to stay in Russia longer. Saying goodbye to the host families was incredibly difficult and was sad for everyone involved. I grew incredibly close with my family and I am so thankful for them. My wonderful host sister helped me with everything I could possibly think of and my parents were extremely supportive. Departing from that train station in Kirov was heartbreaking because I was leaving behind incredible people that I had come to love in the past seven weeks. All of us americans slept pretty soundly on that 12 hour night train back to Moscow. All of us felt like it had just been the day before when we boarded the train TO Kirov.
The last couple days were spent in Moscow which I felt was a very good experience. I was excited to experience Moscow another time without being completely dead from 20 hours of traveling. We visited some museums, went inside the Kremlin, and of course the Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral. We also got to ride on the Russian Metro a couple times and that was very fun. It was all incredible and very stunning. At the same time, these last days were very bittersweet. Throughout the past seven weeks myself and the other Americans had become a close family. I mean, that is bound to happen when you live together with a group of people, but our bond was special. I know for a fact we will always remain a little NSLIY family. In fact, my room mates from the hostel and I bought a necklace in Moscow to pass around to each other as well as a journal. I should be receiving the necklace soon and I’m very excited for that!
Soon enough, it was time to actually depart home. Once we arrived in New York there were enough tears to flood the airport…. no just kidding but it was incredibly sad. We were split into two groups and had to separate almost immediately depending on who our next flight was through. Since I was the only one from the west-coast, I was supposed to go by myself. However, luckily for me Nick lives in NY and waited with me until the last possible moment, up until the last possible minute I could leave without missing my flight. That goodbye was definitely one of the hardest. We grew very close over our time shared together. However, I know we will see each other again someday and remain great friends as well as important figures in each others lives. I will never be able to thanks NSLI-Y enough for the experience they gave me. If you are reading this blog because you are considering applying I highly suggest it. It will change you in amazing ways you never thought was possible.
Upon my return in the United States I did take my OPI. I’m pleased to admit that I scored an intermediate low on the exam which was one level higher than my goal. I am continuing to study Russian with a private tutor and I hope to travel there again someday in the hopefully near future. In fact, I decided to apply for the NSLI-Y year program for a gap year. I haven’t decided if I for sure want to partake in a gap year, but it can’t hurt to apply. Besides all of that, I am being a normal senior in high school. I’m playing sports, editing the school newspaper and yearbook, and of course working on those college apps. I hope to still publish regularly on my blog and talk about many things ranging from travel, fashion, and even food. As an aspiring world traveler, I hope to keep up this blog as long as I can and document all of life’s adventures.