Tomorrow is the day. I will be packing up my suitcase and backpack and boarding the plane for an adventure of the lifetime. My nine-hour flight will be filled with anticipation and dreams of the new culture, language, and country that will greet me on the other side. I will be putting my life in the States on hold to instead, live and study in Spain for five months.
So Mara, how are you feeling about this? Nervous? Excited? If you’ve asked me this question, you probably haven’t gotten much of a response. To be honest, it still feels unreal that I leave tomorrow. I don’t know what to feel. It hasn’t hit me, and it probably won’t until I’m away from the chilly Midwest winter.
I don’t have much to write in this blog post. To be honest, the only reason I am writing this is because I plan to blog regularly while I’m in Spain. It makes sense to get into the habit of it now, and I would love to look back on the thoughts I had about Spain before even arriving. Many of these posts will be moreso for my reference, but this one especially may not be of much interest for others to read.
What I can tell you is that although I am not nervous or worried now, things will probably change when I arrive. I will probably feel somewhat overwhelmed at first. I will be completely surrounded by a language that I’m far from fluent in. I will have to figure out the ins and outs of the city life, navigating the streets or the bus. Maybe these things aren’t too scary in themselves, but the thought of jumping into classes right away will make the pressure much greater.
And speaking of Spanish classes, I’m not really sure what to expect. I haven’t taken a Spanish class in over a year. I was rusty then, but my Spanish skills have far deteriorated since then. I find myself confused on conjugations, tenses, and other grammar things that used to come so easily to me. My vocabulary is very limited. I honestly have no idea where I’m at in Spanish. What if intermediate is too much for me? Jumping back into Spanish classes again will be a really great thing, but it will definitely be a challenge at first. It brings me motivation though. I look forward to working diligently and passionately to succeed academically.
At the same time, I am extremely excited about these things. The thought of becoming more fluent in Spanish and enjoying Spanish classes again thrills me. It will be a fun experience as I learn how to use public transportation, purchase a cellphone in Spanish, and interact with the locals. I am ecstatic to fill my weekends and breaks with travel. I know that I will not only grow in my language skills, and but I will learn things about myself that couldn’t have been discovered otherwise. I enter into a deeper love for the world and confidence in myself, and I honestly cannot wait.
More musings may come to mind before I arrive in Spain, but this is all I will write for now. Please keep me in your prayers. Pray that I will be able to interact well with the city and in my classes. Pray that this horrible cold goes away before I arrive. Pray over the mission work that I will also be doing in Valladolid (I’ll write more about this when I have a clear vision of what that will look like). Pray that I can not only build friendships with international students, but with locals as well. I will undoubtedly be praying for you as well.