Anyone Want To Remind Me Why I’m Going Abroad?

1 Jul

Listening To: “Be Calm” – fun. Aim and Ignite. 

So, this week seems to have been “Study Abroad” week. Somehow almost every one of my conversations has ended in a discussion about Mexico or Central America. For me, this has truly caused a roller coaster of emotions — I am overwhelmed by both excitement and hesitation and I undulate between optimism and pessimism, depending on the time of day, weather, or to whom I am talking.

All of this talk has made me start thinking about what I am looking forward to for this semester…and what I am definitely not looking forward to this fall. I’ll get to the good stuff eventually, but for now — what am I least looking forward to this fall?

1. Homestays. I know that homestays are supposed to be everyone’s favorite part of study abroad — it’s a chance to be immersed in the culture, create close relationships with incredible and inspiring people, practice the language….yeah, yeah, yeah. And I really did love the woman I lived with in Polvorin while in Mexico, and definitely learned an incredible amount from the time spent living with her (although it took until the last two weeks to actually feel comfortable). But I also had a lot of really uncomfortable homestays — such as staying with the 70-year-old woman in Amatlan who was independent and incredible, but also hard to understand, so independent that she left me alone for full days, and so quiet that at times I felt myself falling asleep over silent meals with her. Do I believe that once it is all said and done, I will be glad that I had the homestays that I will have in Guatemala and Nicaragua? Absolutely. At this point, am I looking forward to the amount of energy it will take to have a successful stay? Absolutely not. I’m honestly exhausted just thinking about it.

2. Constant fear of something going wrong that would be no big deal at home, but would seem like the end of the world in another country. This is pretty self explanatory — can I handle my computer breaking down again and taking away my ability to stay in contact with my support system in the U.S.? I hope I won’t have to. Getting sick — a nuisance in the States, but a week-or-month-ruiner in another country. Of course if anything happens, it will all be handled. I just would rather not have to. Currently, I’m spending all of my free time imagining every single possible catastrophe that could occur while abroad. It’s getting pretty stressful.

There’s more. Small things — having to constantly be careful about not drinking the water; being consistently emotionally drained from absolutely everything; not being able to talk to (or see) the people that I rely upon in the United States; being in a general state of discomfort for most of the four months.

That’s all for now. So I’m a little stressed, currently…a lot of “what ifs”. But even as I’m worrying, I know that everything will work out…and there are a lot of things for which I can’t wait — but I’ll put that in the next blog. Positive things to come! 



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