Today marks just under one week until I leave this continent for a different one. It’s difficult to process just how big of a change I am making in my life and I don’t think it has fully hit me yet. All I know at this moment is that I am getting more and more excited for what this semester has in store for me. Though for every bit of excitement I have, I also have a great deal of nervousness and anticipation. Each day is a different mix of emotions, but overall I’m feeling good about my decision.
I recently found out who my host family is and this has made me even more excited. The family is made up of Tere, a housewife, along with her husband, Angel, and their college-aged son, Antonio. The most important part (those of you who know me will understand this) is that they have four pets: a dog, two cats, and a ferret. I am an animal enthusiast, and thus, understandably, am extremely ready to cuddle these pets. The family is very outdoorsy and I’m hoping they will take me to the mountains to hike and/or ski.
As a woman with an excess of clothes and shoes, it has been difficult to create a packing list. I’m constantly googling and pinning my life away for packing tips and study abroad advice. I’m focusing on choosing options that are good for layering as well as being versatile when it comes to the weather. This is much easier said than done, as I’m sure you can probably imagine. I acknowledge that I am very odd in that I enjoy packing. Yes, you read that correctly. There is something about preparing for a new experience and imagining which outfits I will wear while having these experiences that has caused me to not despise packing like the majority of the population.
Jitters and packing lists aside, let’s talk about expectations. I am attempting to go into this new experience with rather realistic expectations. I don’t expect to adapt to this different culture immediately and I don’t expect to not have any struggles throughout the semester, but I do pretty much know for a fact that I will have a good time. This fact is based mostly on my personality and that whatever may occur while I’m abroad, I’m going to keep a positive outlook and enjoy every adventure that I embark on. I’m looking forward to seeing how my perspective on the world will change. I’m also going to push myself to try new things, like eating seafood even though I detest it. The whole idea of going abroad is to push myself out of my comfort zone. As goes the popular quote, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and I firmly believe this to be true.