Last week I had three open suitcases in my room as I tried to pack for two very different trips. My bathing suits and colorful summer clothes in one, and black sweaters, pants, and jackets in the other two. Now I'm sitting on a beach in Curaçao watching the waves roll in to shore and feeling the ocean breeze on my face. (Check out my photojournal!) I'm here on a family vacation with my grandmother, parents, and two sisters to celebrate my mother's birthday. This vacation has been a wonderful, relaxing and restful pause in my hectic summer, but it comes at the worst/perfect time because in only five days I will be on a plane to Denmark. (I just read over that sentence twelve times and this reality still hasn't sunk in completely.) We'll be flying back home on Wednesday evening, I have Thursday to get my life back in order, and then Friday I'm off to the airport again, this time however, to go to Denmark on my own.
It would have been nice to have this week at home, to take my time preparing, packing, and getting mentally ready to go off to Copenhagen for four months, but I wouldn't trade this vacation for anything. I might have lost this week of preparation time, but I get to spend it with my family in a gorgeous place.
I still am stressed about my one day at home before departure, though. There is so much do do on that one day. I need to print out important documents, unpack my clothes from this trip, go through my Copenhagen packing again and make sure I didn't forget anything/make last minute changes, and double, triple, and quadruple check everything.
Oddly enough, I don't feel nervous at all for this new adventure. I think this is mostly thanks to the month I spent in Valencia, Spain in June of this summer. I went there for an Opera Intensive program with Boston Conservatory, and had to spend a whole month in another country on my own where I didn't speak the language. It was like a little trial study abroad experience, and I came out of it smarter, more independent, and surer of my abilities to live on my own. The biggest hurdle was the language barrier, as I don't speak any Spanish, however I found my way around it and managed a whole month on my own. I know that if I could do it in Valencia, I can do it in Copenhagen.
The lack of nerves leaves room for more excitement and anticipation. If there is one thing I've learned from travelling, it's that you never really know what you're in for. This is why I'm going into this semester open to experience anything that comes my way, and I can't wait to just absorb and learn as much as possible in these four months. I don't know really what to expect from DIS, RDAM, and Copenhagen, but I'm excited to find out. I know it won't all be easy and fun; I will definitley be out of my comfort zone and have to adapt to a different environment and culture. But that is what I look forward to most, because it is in the face of challenge that you grow the most as a person, staying within your comfort zone doesn't get you very far.
Five more days. Five more days. Nope, it still doesn't feel real.