Doble AA sign in Chueca.
I write as I should be packing for Lisbon, Portugal but I can't help but think about all the little things that matter while you study abroad. You would be surprised by what triggers memories and what makes you miss the people you left behind. Here are a few things that I have seen that remind me of home. 

While walking around in Chueca,  a neighborhood in the center of Madrid, I found a sign that said Doble AA, or Double AA in English. At my internship this summer with Tap Milwaukee a co-worker and I were AA as her name began with the letter A as well, but I also would be called Double AA alone since my first and last name both begin with an A. It's strange how one sign can bring back great memories, make you smile and also make you realize how much you miss the people you worked with. 

A MadrileƱo wearing a U of M shirt.
Another instance was when I was with the group and saw a man wearing a University of Minnesota Twin Cities t-shirt and playing the violin. It reminded me not only of home and my family but also of my two years in high school where I took classes full-time at the U of M. I thought about all the fun times I had there and the friends I made but the man with his violin and Golden Gophers shirt also made me grateful for all the people I have waiting for me back home.

Thirdly, television shows. I won't lie, I like Gossip Girl, I like Glee and I love Covert Affairs, so when I am not in the same timezone as my friends who also watch the shows it becomes very difficult to share our thoughts let alone oh, ah, and gasp together. On the other hand, it's nice to have people with me here who also watch the shows so we can share our belated viewing experiences together.

Last, but certainly not least, you get excited when you see you have an email from your family and friends back home saying they are thinking about you and miss you. When they also expand upon the course of events from the week, or the night before, the email is even better. There is nothing better than waking up to an email or text from someone you miss back home, it's a great way to get motivated to start the day.

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