After coming back from Austria last year I feel changed, different from the people around me in Canada who did not share my experience. I find it hard to express to them just how much happened last year, and this has led to a distance between myself and many friends. I find it hard, after having so many amazing experiences in Austria and the countries surrounding it, to stop talking about memories, and just live in the moment. At school I find myself bonding more closely with the German exchange students than any of the people that were my friends before I left. Sometimes I feel like I just don’t share the same values with a lot of my Canadian friends anymore.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still have amazing friendships here, but I feel like I miss my Austrian friends in Canada way more than I ever missed my Canadian friends in Austria. Maybe that’s because in Austria I knew the exact date that I would see my friends back in Canada, and I knew I still had a whole year to spend with them in school. When I’m missing my Austrian friends however, I never know the next time I will see them, or how long I’ll get to spend with them. And that really sucks.
Going on an exchange year was really hard, yet incredibly rewarding. coming back however was even more difficult, and it hardened me slightly. I really miss Austria and my exchange year and hope that I can work through these difficulties to rekindle friendships with some Canadian friends.