Back in the United States…For Now

As of today, I have been back in the United States for about three months now. I haven’t written down rest of my explorations and adventures in Europe, but I will slowly catch up whenever I can. Since completing my yearlong teaching contract in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, I have traveled around Europe with my parents joining me halfway through July. I will try my best to catch up and blog about the various countries I have visited, but right now I’m back in the United States starting the next chapter of my life.

It has been a month since I started grad school at American University in Washington D.C. I had been planning out this stage of my life since around October and November while I was still in Europe. It has been a long process and I am still trying to tie up several loose ends to make everything work out.

American University photo IMG_20150901_110450370_zps4hthb5on.jpg

Why go back to Grad School?

There are many reasons why but the main reasons include a desire to further my education, to become a more qualified and professional ESL teacher, and increase my chances of finding a more stable and better paying job. I enjoyed my year in Poland and I miss my students dearly, but if I want to make this work last longterm, I felt that obtaining an MA in TESOL would open doors to other amazing opportunities. American University had a good reputation and the doors there opened for me.

Washington, D.C.

Bielsko-Biala, Poland

The Transition from Poland to D.C.

Emotional is the best way to describe it. The journey wasn’t easy. When my plane from Amsterdam to Minneapolis landed, the reality that I was back in the United States after being gone for almost a year hadn’t taken hold. Driving through Minneapolis and seeing the blue skyscrapers felt strange. Being back home – the place where I grew up – gave me mixed feelings. I was happy to be home and see my huge background where I had imagined taking grand adventures as a young girl. At the same time, I was starting to miss having Poland as my home with the mountains right next door to me.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

I didn’t have a lot of time to miss Europe. I had merely three weeks to prepare for the next phase of my life in Washington D.C. There was packing, unpacking, making sure that my financial ducks were in a row, and getting prepared to drive half way across the country. When I got to D.C., I was thrown into a whirlwind adventure of settling into the house, meeting my five roommates, meeting my classmates, and finding a church to attend.

Months have passed. I’ve busied myself with school, teaching, tutoring, and found some time to do some sightseeing. I’ve met amazing new friends that God has definitely blessed me with. Things are going great! But there are moments where I find myself missing the life I left behind in Europe – in Poland! I miss the small Polish city I lived in, Bielsko-Biala. I miss using my weekends to travel to Krakow as a getaway. I miss the food, especially the cheese and jam. I even miss the days when I found creative ways to communicate with the locals using the little Polish I learned and a game of charades. Most of all, I┬ámissed the friends I’ve met and the students I learned to love.

There are some days I wish I can hop back on a plane and visit the the school I taught in and the church I attended most weeks. A piece of my heart is still there and I didn’t realize that I had left it there right away. At the same time, I strongly believe that D.C. is where I’m supposed to be for at least the next two years. I still don’t know everything that’s in store for me. I’m very busy and I still want to take time to write. Maybe I’ll start a new blog about here in the U.S. – specifically D.C.

For now, I want to say thank you to all my of readers who followed my adventures in Europe. I hope to go back abroad in the future, but for now I’m back in the United States. Who knows what God has in store for me once I finish my MA. I might be still needed here in the U.S. long term, or maybe I’ll be sent abroad again. The fact that I don’t know is a beautiful mystery.

But please stay tuned for blog posts about my summer travels. I hope to talk about the adventures I had. Also, stay tuned for a possible new blog about my activities in D.C. Because I’m very busy with my MA, it might be awhile.

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