I leave for Vermont two weeks from Monday, and this fact has been slowly dawning on me all week, resulting in the phenomenon I call pre-departure nostalgia (anyone know if there's a real name for it?). This is when all of the mundane, day-to-day things I do suddenly become very precious and special to me, and I realize how much I'm going to miss them. For example, last night I walked home from yoga, and I thought about how, for a whole year, I will not walk that route; I won't see the beautiful trees blooming in the spring, or see the little kids playing at the elementary school playground. Or I think about how I'm going to miss my morning routine with my kitty, and I wonder if, after a month, she'll have forgotten about me completely (probably true). And of course, what I'll miss most of all are my relationships: with Jon, with my friends, with my bosses, with my professors. Of course, we'll probably all still maintain contact, but I know from my last experience abroad that relationships are just different when you're so far apart; people and relationships and places change when separated from each other by time and distance.
I'm not saying I don't want to go, or that I'm not going to have a fantastic time and have amazing new experiences in Russia, even though part of me says "Wait! What are you thinking? You're happy and comfortable here, why would you leave??" I know Iowa City will be here when I get back, and I'll enjoy getting reacquainted with my surroundings upon my return. For now, I'm just savoring every moment, creating memories that will help sustain me when things are rough away from home.
5 days ago