Pre-departure Nerves and Excitement!

Katie Kozlowski
Anthropology, Global Studies, and Spanish Major
Spanish in Quito, Ecuador

They say that when learning a language, you truly have a grasp on what you’re learning when you dream in your new language. I’ve dreamt in Spanish before, but this past week, I’ve had a couple of nightmares in Spanish. They’ve ranged from me forgetting the entire language upon arrival to missing my flight(s).

[Image:Passport] My bags in the airport!
On the one hand, I’m glad my grasp on the language is strong enough to have nightmares in it. But on the other, I wish I wasn’t so nervous about leaving. I am so excited to study abroad, and I absolutely can’t wait to get to Ecuador and start experiencing new things, but this is my first time leaving the country and it can sometimes feel like I have no clue what I’m doing.

I was the first person in my family to even get a passport, so this is totally new territory for both me and my family. Going to college 150 miles away from home in the same state and studying abroad almost 3,000 miles away on a different continent both present their own unique challenges. As I write this post, I’m sitting at my gate in the airport where I arrived over three hours early just because I was nervous about missing my flight.

Image: The view from the first of two flights I needed to take to get to Ecuador.

This novice traveler nervousness is great experience, and I’m sure that with time I’ll learn what the appropriate time to arrive at the airport is. For every experience I’m nervous for, I’m also incredibly excited to learn and grow from them, and I think that’s something that is so cool about study abroad. Not only do you learn about what you’re studying, you also learn more about who you are, how you handle situations, and how to be a better traveler at the same time!

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