Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Just a couple more days…

… and I will be flying to Cancun, then catching a bus to Merida, and finally seeing the place that I will call home for the next four months.

Over the last few weeks I’ve read about the family I’ve been staying with, seen a picture of my house, room, and host mother.  I’ve looked at the map of the city and located the house I’ll be living in, and the IFSA Butler office.  I’ve listened to countless stories about the Yucatan from excited family friends who’ve been there before.  I’ve even read what seems like (though I’m sure it’s not) every post on the web about living in Mexico as a vegetarian.

Of course, it’s also just hit me that I have two days to consolidate my life into one large camping backpack, put together all the paperwork that IFSA Butler’s sent me, try to revive some ability to speak Spanish, and keep my fingers crossed that I won’t arrive at the airport only to discover that my passport is still sitting in my desk at home.

There are plenty of things I could be nervous about right now:

  • The official plan for getting my visa, which seems to be asking the customs official nicely if they would please stamp my passport for 180 days, instead of 30.
  • My plan for getting from Cancun to Merida, which, so far, is to get off the plane, then hopefully find a bus… somewhere.
  • The tap water, which is not potable in most of Mexico, meaning that I’m going to be drinking and brushing my teeth with bottled/boiled water, peeling all my fruit, and avoiding salads for the next four months.
  • The fact that when my parents and sister ask me how to say something in Spanish, the answer is “I don’t know” uncomfortably often.

And in some ways I am nervous –  It’s especially hard to say goodbye to everyone, and, all cheesiness aside, it’s a little scary (but also really exciting) to think that I’m going to be essentially on my own for such a big chunk of time.

At the same time, I’m eager to be out in the world on my own for the first time (this will be my first time flying completely by myself!) I’m looking forward to being surrounded by new people and places, getting used to a new bus system, learning how to navigate a city where the streets aren’t numbered the way they are in New York, shopping in a supermarket for foods labeled in Spanish. I’m even excited to experience all the culture shock everyone’s warned me about.

More when I arrive, my unfinished packing is calling to me.

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