This was one of my most exciting times of my life. The summer leading up to my departure, I was so full of energy and anticipation. I was about to enter into a new world, and I knew that somehow, someway, this experience would change my life. Although I wasn’t sure how things would go, I knew that no matter what I was going to try to make the best out of my experience. There were many things to worry about, how to manage my budget, if my Spanish was good enough, how will my living situation be, all of these were constantly on my mind. However, I would come to find that all of these worries would later become irrelevant and once there, all other concerns went out the door, I had a new life to live.
From the moment that I landed, I was like a kid in a candy store. This was what I had wanted for so long, and I was finally living it. I didn’t care who I talked to, where I was going, I was just so happy to be there. It is difficult to describe the first days there for me with words, because I don’t have many that can describe the emotions that I was feeling. The first times that I walked the streets, I had no idea where I was going, what I was doing, or where this would all take me. All I did know was that I was going to make the best of the situation. The advice I will give is that the entire process will continue to evolve with each day that passes. You will meet people, travel, have all the experiences that you wished for, you just have to put in effort if you want to experience all that you can. Yes, I said effort. It’s not just a vacation! If you want to meet people, speak the language, see things that aren’t in the tour guide books, then you will need to go out and find it!
Leaving was very difficult. I felt at that time that I could have stayed there forever, but at the same time I knew that I had a life and responsibilities at home. I was torn between the two. I didn’t know whether to cry or to smile. All I did know was that I made great friends, had unforgettable experiences, and that I was a new person. The time that I spent abroad affected me in so many different ways, and preparing to leave put that all on the table, allowing me to see the new me. So as I looked down on the city from the tiny window on the plane, I could see me. I could see a part of myself. Nine months had passed, and it seemed like just a blur. Although my time there seemed to fly by, it will always be a part of who I am.