I, Miss America

“So, here you are

too foreign for home

too foreign for here.

Never enough for both.”

-Ijeoma Umebinyuo

After two wonderfully difficult years of graduate school, 4 months spent interning with the IUCN, and 3 months living abroad in Switzerland, I can finally say that I am done. My time is up. I have learned more than I can possibly express and am so incredibly thankful for every opportunity that has led me to where I am, and who I am today. Instead of coming straight back to reality, I have opted to enjoy my graduation by taking the long way home. Tomorrow I will leave my cozy apartment in Switzerland and will begin my next adventure of traveling through Europe. Unfortunately, as all of my graduate work is on this laptop, I will not be running the risk of taking it with me, and therefore, this is my last blog post…at least for the time being.

It is a bittersweet feeling, saying goodbye to my new friends, packing up my room, and not knowing when or if I will be back again. I have grown fond of my home here in Switzerland, with it’s abundance of footy fields, unique culture, delicious chocolate, various languages, and beautiful scenery. I will miss things that I never possibly could have imagined, such as the damp, musky smell of stale cigarette smoke in the subway tunnel that I walked through to work everyday, and the long conversations in broken Spanish, French and English with my 82 year old neighbor, Max, while getting our mail, and the slurred cat-calls from the drunken accordion player who sits outside the grocery store.

However, I am incredibly excited for my next adventure and my subsequent return to the USA. It will be nice to not be the only American again, which had led to the nickname of Miss America here in my international office. I have missed my friends and family immensely…as well as driving, and speaking English, and deep dish pizza….I have secured a flight home in time for my favorite holiday, the 4th of July, and I am filled with anicipation for the Independence Day celebration upon my arrival stateside.

Until next time,

Master Berry