Jetting out on Independence Day

By: Alicia Wayne

Majors: Social Work, Spanish

Universidad de Cantabria, Santander, Spain

Dear Readers,

It is America’s independence day, and I am flying out of The United States. I am currently sitting in the JFK airport waiting to begin my adventure in Spain. I must tell you, the excitement for the holiday is at an all time low on the international side of the airport. As I eagerly wait for the 4:30pm mark to begin boarding, I figured this would be a good time to think back to before I started this journey. About a year ago today I like many of you, was celebrating the 4th of July festivities and was wondering what this year was going to bring. It was also on this very day that I had just ended the abusive relationship of a year and a half and had felt as if my life had become the tilt- a- whirl at the fair, spinning completely out of my control.

Not long after, and through a lot of self -exploration a man entered into my Spanish class, and my life journey had drastically changed course. He was from the office of study abroad and was telling our class about studying abroad in Santander, Spain. He had told us how life changing the experience was, and how he would never forget his experience abroad. Having traveled before when I was 13 for the Student Ambassador program, the love for travel was in my blood.

This was a golden opportunity for me to start fresh and begin my new adventure, to finally, once again, have a direction to pursue. From that day on, I had the Santander Spain study abroad flyer hung up in my room, and began saving 20% of all of my waitressing tips to get there. It is unbelievable to me that that day that I have been dreaming about for so long has finally come. I did it!

Yet that is not to say that I have no fear about this endeavor. When I called my host mother for the first time there were kids screaming in the background and I only understood every fifth word she said to me because she was speaking so fast. Not to mention I was sitting at the dinner table with the entirety of my nuclear family and they were eagerly waiting to see if I had any idea what I was doing. Haha! My dad made the comment, “I know you always told me you could speak Spanish, but I never truly believed you until now.” If that is not a typical dad comment, I don’t know what is. So yeah, I’m a tad nervous, but I am more than ready to start my adventure abroad. Well, looks like it is time to board. Until next time….

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