One week from today my journey will begin. I start with a 13 hour car ride from my hometown of Evanston, IL to the East Coast where I will visit family in New Jersey and friends in Philadelphia, New York and Boston and end with a relaxing 3 days in Martha’s Vineyard! However after this week-long vacation, the real journey begins. With that being said, I am in complete disbelief that two weeks from now I will be in Spain. While I am beyond excited to spend an entire year in a different country, traveling, meeting new people, improving my Spanish (hopefully), diving into a new culture…I am also completely terrified. Will I understand a word of Spanish, even after taking Spanish classes for countless years? If I don’t understand a word, will I then fail all of my classes and be kicked out of HC? Will I lose my passport upon arrival in Madrid and be shipped back to the U.S, in which case my parents will deem me irresponsible and not allow me to leave the house? These questions along with dozens of others whirl in my head every day. But after listening to several Holy Cross students who previously studied abroad, I know that these feelings are completely normal and will (hopefully) diminish within a few weeks after arriving in Spain.
These past few months have been filled with study abroad preparation: booking my flight (thankfully with 3 other HC students so I will have someone to freak out with/share my excitement with upon arrival in Madrid)…getting through the overly complicated visa process …working 4 different jobs so I can have enough money to travel…buying the largest suitcase I could find, and hoping that it is the only suitcase I need (I will let you know how this obstacle goes with next week’s post)
Even though I am a little nervous, I am really excited for the adventures that lie ahead. While I know that there will be bumps along the way, and that I will miss the cozy hill of Mt. Saint James, I think I am ready for this adventure. As I am told by many…I am about to have the experience of a lifetime.