by: Shierly Mondianti

“And so, I will cry a thousand tears and tuck my new home into a corner of my heart as I board that plane and fly once more. Pura Vida.” – Chandra Rapley, WT Costa Rica ‘14


At WorldTeach we talk a lot about traveling abroad and sending people on global adventures. But, one of the hardest things to read about and experience is the process of coming back “home.”


I have been reading a lot of our alums’ blogs here in the office lately, and as someone who is always traveling I can empathize with the mixed feelings that our volunteers experience—of heartbreak for not wanting to leave but also of excitement to return to friends and family.


Moving on is bittersweet. What used to be a distant and foreign place is now “home.” The saddest part about leaving is the uncertainty of when you will ever be back. When will I see the faces of those I left behind again? For most of us, the answer echoing in our minds is: ‘not for a long time…’ and that is what hurts the most.


To those of you returning from your year-long programs, this post is for you. Know that you are not alone in those solitary moments of self-reflection. The feeling of emptiness and longing will linger, but know that this is not goodbye forever–the experience itself is one that stays with you for the rest of your life.



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