A New Chapter – Moving & Study Abroad

Wow, first post and it’s a big one!

So many things have been happening these past few weeks: final exams, prepping to move, and getting ready to leave the country for Costa Rica. I haven’t been both this excited and nervous at the same time for a while now. I’ve never really gone abroad before (well, Canada once for about a day with the family, but I don’t really count that), so going somewhere really different, especially for five weeks alone will be a totally different experience for me. I’m excited to meet my host family, though I’m a little anxious too, adjusting to living with other people and also the foreign language setting.

Have you ever felt like there was something that you just had to do, though? Like if you passed up on it, you knew you’d regret it? That’s pretty much how I’m feeling about my study abroad opportunity. Although I do well in my classes, when it comes to real-world Spanish application, I’ll freeze up in conversation. It feels like there’s a barrier there preventing me from really grasping the language and communicating naturally. I’d wanted to do it last year, but backed out of it because I wasn’t feeling confident, and now, being a senior, it’s my last chance to do it through my school. Languages aren’t meant to be learned in a vacuum, and I need to just jump in and immerse myself. I want to become a more capable, independent person. It’s probably going to be tough, and I’m sure people will have to explain things like I’m five for a while, but it’ll be worth it in the end. Also, my Costa Rican host mother sent me some really nice introductory emails, and that definitely eased my worries a bit.

I’m still going to miss the ever-living heck out of my family though, that’s for sure. I can’t thank them enough for supporting me through everything.

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Oh boy, and the whole selling the house and buying a new one thing. I knew moving was supposed to be a pretty intense process, but this is the first time I’ve ever really been involved in the process. I definitely would not want to do that again any time soon. Living in the same house for basically 13 years makes for a lot of stuff that needs to be either donated or thrown out. Especially in my case, since I had things in my room from when I was a kid that were just buried in the back of the closet as I got older.

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Just to give you an idea. Bags, bags, and more bags. And this is from after I had already taken out three other garbage bags worth of things to donate, and some other ones that were full of things to be thrown out. I’m pretty sure I had the most things to get rid of out of everyone else in the house.

Digging through my stuff took me on a trip to Nostalgia Town. I found a lot of things I’d forgotten even existed, like old science experiment kits, art projects, and baseball gear. Even as a kid I had way too many interests. Maybe that’s just part of my charm. Or something like that.

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Sample of some mixed media artwork I did in elementary school. I went ham with those patterns.

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And some pictures of me from when I was a chubby-cheeked five-year-old. Hadn’t seen those in ages. No idea why I look kind of intense in that second picture. Also, I think I recall that giant skull in the third one creeping me out. Ah, memories.

Alright, coming back from Nostalgia Town now. Getting the chance to look back on my life from going through all this has actually been really motivating; it’s good to remember where you came from. I’ve spent too much time in my life holding myself back from fear of the unknown, or from fear of failure, but I want to keep growing in as many aspects of my life that I can.File_000

I’m proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone, and I can’t wait until I can meet my host family tomorrow and start documenting my progress through this new chapter of my life (thanks again for this awesome journal, Noemi). Ready to enjoy the Pura Vida of Costa Rica.