Tabatha Pilon’s Notes From Abroad – A Year Goes by So Fast! July 14, 2012

Tabatha 1 year ago

CFN– This year has been one of the quickest, and most memorable year in my entire eighteen years on this earth.


It feels as though yesterday I boarded the plane, arrived in Germany, met up with someone who was a stranger to me, went to his house, had a tour of Germany, had a nap, and then finally arrived back at the airport, after an entirely too long fifteen hour layover, and boarded my plane to Billund, Denmark.


I remember how I didn’t think anything strange about it until I had about fifteen minutes left of my flight to Billund left. I remember sitting there, right next to the window, listening to people speaking Danish all around me, meanwhile I was wearing a bright red blazer that identified me as a Rotary Youth Exchange student, and I was just leisurly looking out the window, when suddenly my eyes got wide, and I sat there in alarm as I realised what exactly I was getting myself into.


It was too late by then though, and I’m glad that it was.   All those first moments that I have had in my year abroad, were amazing. Even the small things, like going to Ikea for the first time, compared to a big thing, like going to a rock concert or flying in a helicopter. Regardless of how little or small the thing was, it has been amazing, and it has changed me. I never knew how much one year could change a person until now.


I look back on these last few months, between my last day at school, my 18 day long trip around Europe (visiting Berlin; Vienna; Prague; Lido di Jesolo; Venice; Verona; San Remo; Monaco; Avignon; Paris; Brussels; and Amsterdam.), saying goodbye to the 50 people that I had spent those 18 days with, visiting the top of Denmark, seeing a seal, meeting incredible people, and finally, saying goodbye to those amazing people.


The goodbyes come each day, over and over, and it amazes me how one person could have made so much amazing people in just one year.   This year will not be forgotten to me; the people forgotten not. The memories will live on within me forever, and I want to take the time, to say that nothing changes, from this moment on. We laughed, we smiled, and we cried. We’ve grown, and we’ve changed. But one thing about exchange students, is that we never forget. We never forget the people who showed excessive kindness; we never forget those who helped us out when we needed it. We never forget the ones who forgot us. We never forget the ones who love us. We just… We never forget.    Our friendships and our memories, although they live on, it does not make saying goodbye any easier.


Despite that, the things that are different within me, that have changed over this year, have made these goodbyes worth it. And for that, I’m grateful.

“Sometimes life just feels like chapters of goodbyes”


and now, I’m turning the pages, into yet another chapter, but the book is still thick, with many more chapters to get through.            

Tabatha Pilon today!


  1. All the best in your new journey Tabatha!

  2. I’ve enjoyed reading your column over this past year. Good luck in your future endeavors.

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