It is interesting to think about traveling for work. Most people work two weeks at a time in an office abroad, to help execute a project, or consult what is already being done. When I arrived at the office in Buenos Aires, six weeks seemed like forever. Little did I know how fast it would pass. Right before my eyes, six weeks was over. Now, I sit here writing this from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
People would expect from my experience, working in Tel Aviv and London the past two summers that I would be able to leave every country I visit with ease. However, it is just the opposite. I have an extremely hard time leaving places I have lived and worked in, and it only gets harder every year. This time around, I had the feeling of a stomach bug upon leaving. It was a strange feeling, and I didn’t really know how to approach it. In six wonderful weeks, I had established friends, knew my way around the city, knew where and what I liked to eat, and absolutely adored the company. My co-workers became family to me, and just as all of this became established, it was the end of week six.
Upon my leaving, I gave a speech, entirely in Spanish on my last day in the office. Delivering the long speech in a fluid manner (all while holding back my tears) boiled up just too much for me. I held my tears in just as I left the office. The bus ride was one where people starred at the girl with tears down her face. I pondered on the bus ride home, my last bus ride home in Buenos Aires. I pondered what it would be like to live here after college. To excel in Spanish and to work in the language for however long the country takes me in for. A year is a long time to tell where I will end up after college, but I just couldn’t help the thoughts that fled through my mind. Of course, these thoughts were not new to me. I had them when I left Tel Aviv and London. But there was something that had to do with the Spanish language that was making me think more realistically about Buenos Aires for my future.
For the trip to the airport, I had received a ride from a former employee at Initiative. He had worked at the company for 15 years and is now a driver at his older age. In the car, we spoke in Spanish and about our love for the company and the people who work in it. In front of me, I had 30 hours of traveling to get halfway around the country to Southeast Asia. Kuala Lumpur was my next destination, and I was in awe that I would actually be working for another six weeks for this wonderful company. I am excited to begin a new adventure and a new series of events that will shape myself as an individual and professional.