Wrapping things up

August 18, 2011

So here I am, still in the US. But not for long. I’m leaving in three short days for possibly the most life-changing event of my life to date.

Spain. For 4 whole months. A different world.

I have so many different emotions. A twinge of guilt for leaving my family and friends for so long, with little contact apart from this blog and maybe a few skype dates here and there. A good dose of sadness about leaving my family, my newborn adorable little niece, my friends, my college (granted, I’ve been gone from there for a good three months, but I’m not returning until spring so it’ll really start feeling like I’m gone when school starts there in a couple days),  my hometown, the wonderful little bubble in which I live in a small town in Virginia, USA. But I’m also, of course, immeasurably happy. Inexplicably excited. Along with that comes a fair amount of nervousness and anxiousness.

This is me, in a couple days.

I don’t know what to expect about anything, really. I’ll be living with a host family for the length of my stay and I don’t know what it’s like to live in a Spanish home. I don’t know a whole lot about the food or the routine of the average Spanish person. Sure, I’ve heard a couple of things, but reading up on things or watching movies does little to prepare you for the actual shock of the cultural difference. And, really, living with a family that is not my own is not something I have much experience with. I don’t know much about international travel either. I’ve never been through customs… not that I’m worried; I have a passport and a visa and everything will be fine, but it’s still a bit nerve-wracking. And when I get there, if my flight is delayed and I can’t meet with my group I have to take a bus and figure out how to get where I’m going and it’s all a bit frightening.  And how am I going to let my parents know I’m safe when I won’t be able to use my US cell phone? And then there’s the whole group dynamic–how will I fit in with a bunch of other American college students who probably aren’t a whole lot like me? I’m not really your typical American college student, but then again I guess anyone who wants to go to Spain for a semester of intense Spanish immersion must have more than a couple things in common with me.

Anyway, I know I’m rambling a lot, but these are just a couple of the emotions that are coming up as the day draws near.

The Beach! 🙂


But, to try to steer away from the anxiety and fear, here’s what I’m most excited about for the first couple days of Spain:

  • The beach! I get to swim in the Mediterranean Sea! 🙂
  • The food. Tapas bars, here I come!
  • The alcohol. The drinking age is 18 in Spain. Don’t take me wrong, I’m not gonna go all crazy and get drunk or anything, but I’m excited to legally be able to drink in a public place. Plus, Spanish wines are supposed to be great!
  • The people. I’m excited to see the metropolitan city that is Barcelona and see how the locals interact.
  • Antoni Gaudi! I LOOOVE his work, and I can’t wait to see it for myself!

    Barcelona Skyline--Isn't it beautiful?!

  • Speaking Spanish. Even though I must say that I’m quite nervous to use my Spanish in an actual Spanish-speaking country, I’m excited to hear it everywhere and start getting comfortable with the idea.
  • Las Ramblas. Assuming I have time and I’m all read-up on the latest pick-pocketing avoidance strategies, I hope that in the first couple days I can visit one of the coolest marketplaces in the world, Las Ramblas. Even if I don’t buy anything, it’ll be a cool experience, and I can scope it out for maybe buying stuff later.

Well, there you have it. That brought my mood up quite a bit. See, I am gonna have a good time, once I get through all the scary stuff.


One comment

  1. […] here’s a silly, worried paragraph from a blog entry on August 18, three days before I […]

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