In the last few weeks of being in Cyprus, I was able to connect with a few friends who also live in Europe; On one weekend I went to visit my family friends, Olivier and Alexandre, in Madrid, Spain where they go to University. They were so welcoming and let me stay in their apartment, which was right near the city center. We all hung out, caught up, and just had a good time. When they were in class I ventured out to see the big sites, including the tribunal area, malasaña, plaza mayor, plaza de España, and the royal palace. Everything was so beautiful, it was a weekend well spent. A couple of weeks later, my friend Sam (who I visited in London) came to Cyprus to explore the island. We went to the North and took a boat ride around the Kyrenia Harbor, went bar hopping, walked around Limassol, and hung out around the Old City of Nicosia; it was a really fun time.
Thanksgiving also passed by, which was celebrated by all of my friends in Cyprus with a huge family dinner at my apartment; no, I did not cook, and yes, I drank the majority of the wine. We celebrated unto the wee hours of the morning, which is when I took a moment to look around the apartment and see that it was utterly destroyed. The clean up took two days, but it was completely worth the fun we all had together. With these same people, we also went to the Troodos Mountain's to visit a winery near the Omodos village, the wine was probably the best I have ever had.
These last four months have been the best yet; I traveled to 13 countries, two continents, and made countless memories and friendships. Even in the last two weeks, I was able to create friendships that I believe will last a long, long time.
The things I have learned about the world, people, and myself while being abroad has been life changing. I am overwhelmed by the wonders this planet has to offer, and I cherish the relationships I am able to make all over it. Though it could be stressful at times, I would not exchange my time away for anything. The people I have met have made an everlasting impression on me, and I can only hope that I did the same for them. I wrote this while sitting in an airport, waiting to board my flight home; everything I felt was very bittersweet. I couldn't wait to see my family, pets, and friends, and get back to New York, but I was also so sad that my time abroad was coming to an end. I just keep reminding myself that I can and will be back; hopefully sooner than I think.