The Day Before Departure

4/3/2018

I remember being 10 years old and the most distance I ever traveled was for a trip to Disney World. I remember waking up early in the morning right as the sun began to peek through the clouds. I had to aid my Dad with packing all of our heavy luggage and each time I walked out I could feel the tepid humidity all over my skin. And even though I only received about 3 hours of sleep the night before. I was more awake than I’ve been all year.

I expected that wonderful feeling of nostalgia to wash over me anew before I left for Germany, but it hasn’t yet. It’s peculiar, so much of my time was spent preparing for this trip. I maintained my GPA, switched classes around, filled out forms, applied for scholarships, saved money, and everything else that would make it feasible for me to embark on this journey. After all the requirements were done it became a waiting game. But during that time in between, the topic of study abroad crept its way into multiple conversations. The topic appeared so often that it became a bit of a nuisance to have to say the same things over again. So much time was spent talking about it that it began to feel as if the time to depart would never come. For all of these past months I’ve been setting myself up to have this experience, and the tasks were familiar to me. It was comfortable. I think that’s why I haven’t made contact with the reality of the situation yet. I’ve gotten too comfortable. For over a year the thought of going to Bochum was just that — a thought. Even though my brain knows I will be leaving for another country I don’t think that I’ve fully grasped what that means. The full implications of this trip haven’t sunk in yet. I don’t believe it ever will until I stop thinking about it and start living it.

I’m going somewhere that’s completely foreign to most of my current knowledge. It’s frightening, but it’s also exhilarating. I’m used to being a minority in my everyday life, but this trip is going to be on a different scale. I’m going to be different in a way that I’ve never been before. I’ll be American. It’s exciting. I’m anxious to get a new perspective and bathe in the blessings of change.

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