2016 Fall External Programs IES Abroad Richelle Kota Spain

What Gilmore Girls Has Done For Me Abroad

It’s always difficult to find a place where you feel you belong abroad. As I expressed in my earlier posts, that was hard for me to find— especially in the beginning. Nothing feels the same no matter how hard you try. But somehow, I have been finding it through weeks and hours of watching the hit TV series, Gilmore Girls.

I remember watching Gilmore Girls when I was younger with my aunt and cousin. Their relationship reminded me, and still reminds me of Rory and Lorelei’s , but I was young and I barely remembered the show. I tried watching it a couple of years ago, but I could never find the energy to. Somehow, I happened to find the energy here because I craved something that made me feel at home. Somehow, books and school and friends couldn’t fulfill that hole for me here. So, I turned to what I had known since I was young— Gilmore Girls.

As a person who is extremely close to their family, I’ve found that no other person I’ve met studying abroad has felt the same disconnect from their roots. They talk to their family every once in a while, but as formalities. If I go a week without talking to each member of my family and sending them a post card, I feel extremely heavy. Coming from an immigrant family, blood has always been like a thick syrup that bonds us all together. My parents never let me forget that. My mom has told me stories since I was a kid about family being there for her when no one or nothing else was.

My relationship definitely isn’t as close as Rory and Lorelei’s. For that, I am actually grateful. I don’t think their relationship would actually work that  well in real life. I like the delineation between my mother and I. And I am thankful for it, but Gilmore Girls has helped me connect to my family when the time difference is too much sometimes, when I need a hug from my mom, when I miss smelling the candles my mother lights near the windows in the fall, and when I miss lying on the rug with my dog in the living room.

When I’m watching sometimes, I wonder why I had never been so obsessed with this show before. The women take center stage as Rory and Lorelei deal with failed relationships, school, discomfort, and moving through the world together. They sing songs and go to concerts together and deeply understand each other in ways that no one else can. Their family is built on a community of people that function with them, moving through trauma together, and shopping for way too many things as a means of self-care. No one understands anyone the way family does and when I watch Gilmore Girls— watching that between Rory and her mother makes me remember what I have at home and that I couldn’t survive without it.

Gilmore Girls and Stars Hollow, although fictional, have taken a real place in my heart for which I’ll never forget.

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