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“Don’t get me wrong, the food in Spain is absolutely incredible, and I know I’m going to have some serious withdrawals the instant I arrive home. However, like a true Californian, avocado is one of my primary food groups.”

Sam Gilbert
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Not that this is groundbreaking news or anything, but life abroad absolutely defines the phrase “living the dream.”

Whether you’re walking on the beach to get to class, observing the unique architecture on each street, traveling to the different countries every other weekend or tasting the new food, there is a constant reminder that we live in a beautiful world.

However, it’s been three months and I’m not going to pretend I don’t get homesick every now and then.

For example, is there a reason Spain doesn’t believe in Mexican food? I feel deprived and, quite frankly, personally offended they don’t understand the greatness of Chipotle Mexican Grill.

On that note, I think it’s appropriate to discuss five things I’m homesick for that can’t be found in Europe.

1. American gyms

Let’s start off with one of my favorite discussion topics: the gyms and workout regimen in Spain.

In San Sebastian, rain is constant. But we got lucky this year, and I had the privilege of going on runs and exercising outdoors until the beginning of November.

Unfortunately, it’s frigid outside now and a gym membership has become necessary for my well-being. Say hello to the newest member of Zuhaizti Gym.

I don’t know if I’m completely spoiled because of my experience with the Cal Poly Recreation Center, but this place can hardly be called a gym.

There aren’t any treadmills at this elegant establishment. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be legal to offer a gym without any running devices on the premises.

Let’s just say the ex-health columnist in me died a little when I realized what I was working with. America, you win this one.

2. American food

Speaking of health, I miss American food. By American food, I mean Trader Joe’s.

Don’t get me wrong, the food in Spain is absolutely incredible, and I know I’m going to have some serious withdrawals the instant I arrive home. However, like a true Californian, avocado is one of my primary food groups. I get separation anxiety when I don’t have it.

Some markets sell avocados in San Sebastian, but it’s just not the same.

3. Owning a cell phone again

Something else I can’t wait for is to own a cell phone again. Yes, I’m a victim of pick-pocketing.

The gypsies that have perfected the art of stealing should actually be considered magicians. One minute your phone is in your purse, the next your bag is unzipped and it’s gone.

These people have a talent.

Although impressive, it’s honestly a huge inconvenience to be living off Facebook and emails.

Speaking on behalf of all abroad students whose cell phones have been stolen, I apologize for the aggressive activity that’s been blowing up Facebook. We have to keep in contact with those at home somehow.

I know even those who still have their iPhones in their possession are excited for the cell service at home, too.

Unless you have a plan worked out with your phone company, an American cell phone is somewhat useless when you’re not connected to WiFi.

The day I get to be in a public place and have the luxury of texting my friends at any time will probably be one of the happiest days of my life.

4. My closet

The fourth thing I absolutely am dying to get back to is my closet. Let me tell you from first-hand experience that living out of one suitcase for four months is rough.

When I look at my wardrobe every day, I regret which pieces I decided to pack or leave behind. Did I really think I was going to prance around cobblestone streets at night in black heels? Sometimes, I almost hate myself for my previous ignorance to life in Spain.

5. Reuniting with friends and family

Finally, the No. 1 thing that I am looking forward to in America is spending the holidays with my friends and family.

Being so far away from home has made me miss everyone more than I ever thought. I see pictures of my best friends that decided not to go abroad, and I start counting down the days until I get to see them again.

I am even more excited with Christmas and New Year’s on the horizon. Not going to lie, it’s a little depressing being in Europe where two of the greatest holidays — Halloween and Thanksgiving — are not celebrated. I’m ready to eat a home-cooked meal and decorate a Christmas tree.

Although I love San Sebastian, there really is no place like home.

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