Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Shit just got real, maybe even too real. I purchased my round trip ticket for London today. I’ll be departing from Minneapolis, MN on January 4, 2013. I’ll admit it. I’m really starting to get scared. The thought of being in another country is exciting, but the fact that I won’t know anyone when I first arrive is hard to deal with. Everything is going to be new to me. I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. My graduating class had a total of 40 students. Now I’m moving to a city with a population of over 8,000,000 people. Talk about a paradigm shift! It’s going to be a whole new world. Five months is a long time for me to be away from everything I know. On top of that, I won’t get to see my family or my boyfriend accept via Skype. The butterflies in my stomach are fluttering around so fast right now that it makes me want to upchuck. Also, the thought of not being able to hug my boyfriend for five months makes me want to cry. In reality five months isn’t that much time, but right now it seems like a lifetime. After I get over the culture shock though, the time will probably fly by faster than I want it to. After all, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I had to take. I’ve lived most of my life believing that you need to make the most out of everything, take every chance you get, and never let your fears get in the way. If I back down now, it would go against everything I stand for. I’m scared, but I’m also shaking with excitement. The adrenaline erupting through my veins is inexorable. I’m finishing up with my fall semester in a couple weeks here and then it’s Christmas in the states. I’ll be on a plane to London in no time at all. Frankly, I’m less worried about my finals and more worried about having a heart attack. Some very disappointing information I found out today is that the schedule for spring finals isn’t going to come out until February, so I ended up purchasing my ticket to depart from London on the 25th of May. I might not be able to see my little brother graduate from high school. I’ll be able to find out more at a later date though. There is still a possibility of changing my departure to an earlier date in the event that I don’t have any finals from the 23rd to the 25th. *Crossing fingers.* Another downside to this equation is the fact that I just blew over $2,000 on a plane ticket, but I'm hoping it will all be worth it. After all, “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”  I'm just going to keep a positive attitude and remember why I decided to study abroad in the first place. This is going to be an amazing experience for me, and I can't wait to find out what it's like on the other side of the world. I'll keep you posted.



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks a lot! I really appreciate it. Happy blogging!

  2. My first experience abroad was in 2004 for 8 weeks in Europe (5 weeks in Oxford, 3 traveling through a big portion of Europe). I was in my early twenties and also grew up in a very small town, with a graduating class of about 40 as well. I thought I was going to be so homesick, but also knew I had to get out there. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have an experience like that, and when it comes your way, you need to grab it by the horns and ride with it.

    To my surprise, I fell head over heels with traveling. I think I had been away for about a week before I realized I hadn't contacted home yet. I was traveling with a group of people I didn't know, but ended up making friends right away (I actually met one of my best friends on that trip!). And the locals were very accommodating. The experience opened a whole new world to me. You read about places and see them on TV but until you actually go there and see it with your own eyes, you have no idea what you're missing out on.

    I think you chose well in going to London. I only made it there for one day, but it's a beautiful city with such a rich history and culture. And luckily the people speak the same language, so it will help with meeting people and making your way around (granted some Englishmen talk very fast and are hard to understand).

    We're lucky we live in a day and age with Skype and FB and all the different apps out there for instant contact. When I went, many of these didn't exist yet. Having just moved to Colombia, I am very grateful these technologies exist. Skyping may not be the same as seeing someone face to face, but boy does it make a world of difference from just writing or calling. I'm going to miss my family and friends very much, but thankfully I can see them on a daily basis just by logging on to Skype or FB.

    You're going to have a whirlwind of emotions in the days leading up to your departure. But I guarantee you, it will soon be taken over by the exciting realization that you're venturing out into new territory, experiencing an amazing new world. You're going to make friends, possibly meet people who will stay in your life forever. You're going to make amazing memories. You're going to expand your life in a way you never thought possible..

    So when you're feeling overwhelmed and have that OMGWHATTHEHELLAMIDOINGTHISISCRAZY sensation, just breathe. Allow yourself to feel scared/sad/terrified. And then embrace the excitement. Know you're going to be just fine. If you can do this, think of all the other trials and tribulations in life - good and bad - you will be able to overcome.

    The quote you posted is 100% true. Traveling is costly, but the reward is something that will make your life so much richer

    You're going to do great. If you ever want any advice on traveling or just need to talk to someone going through a similar experience, feel free to write me :) And if you have any chances to travel around England, DO IT. Oxford is only a 2 hour bus ride away, not too expensive for a ticket, and is an incredible city. And if you can make it to Avebury (way cooler than Stonehenge, in my opinion), go. Enjoy every minute. Keep a journal of your experiences. And relish every taste, aroma, touch and sight there is.

    Best wishes-

    Mahli Ricke (La Antropologa)

    1. Thanks for the great advice. It boosted my confidence a little - for now. (Haha.) I'm definitely going to try to do a bit of traveling while I'm there. I'll have to check out the places you mentioned as well. Right now I'm kind of in disbelief about the whole situation, but I've always liked traveling so I don't think I'll have too much trouble once I'm settled in. Moving day is coming fast though! I feel a little unprepared.