Saying, “See you later,” to my family and friends at the airport was probably the hardest thing about leaving. I was adamant that I was not going to cry, but as soon as I put my arms around my mom I broke down. The water works began, and they were hard to stop. I truly didn’t want to let go, and I no longer wanted to go to Wales. It was as if all of my reasons for studying abroad had vacated my head and the reasons not to go were flooding my system. The main reason that kept popping into my mind was that I was journeying to a place where I knew no one, and would be thousands of miles away from home, my family, friends, and my boyfriend. Honestly, how did that seem like a good idea to me? I would be leaving my comfort zone, and be forced to experience a new culture, and rely on only myself.
At first the idea of being on my own was exciting. After high school I spent two years at home studying at a community college, and then I transferred to a university that was only 45 minutes away from home. I wanted, no needed, a change. Yet standing at the airport with my loved ones, the idea of leaving was unfathomable. I have to admit, I was a little scared. Fear of the unknown maybe? Possibly even fear that I wouldn’t be able to make it alone for the semester.
After I hugged everyone, multiple times each, I had to go through security. My family waited for me to get through, and watched me as Debra and I made our way to our terminal. It was hard walking away from them. It was even harder knowing that it would be months before I saw them all again, but I did it. As I walked toward my terminal, I looked back multiple times and was happy to see that my dad was still standing there, waving at me everytime I looked back. When I reached my terminal, I threw all of my items down and ran back to the main area, looking toward the security gates to wave to my dad one more time, but was hit with an immediate wave of sadness when I saw that he was gone. It hit me then that I was truly on my own for the semester to come.
I walked back to my seat with my head lowered, and wiped my face. I thought about the reasons for why I wanted to study abroad in the first place. Thinking about what made me make this decision, and about how much I wanted to travel lifted my spirits. Despite my red nose, and tear stained face, I was no longer sad. I was excited for the adventure I was about to embark on, and grateful to have the opportunity. Though it’s hard to be away from them, I will see my family soon enough, and I can FaceTime them whenever I miss them. For now I will focus on this amazing journey, and make the most of my time abroad. I’m happy to say that I am living life with no regrets. Instead, I am giving in to my wanderlust.
a very strong or irresistible desire to travel.
Step count for the day: 8,954