Greetings from Los Angeles! It’s my first time seeing the U.S. Western Coast and my weekend before leaving for Australia has consisted of a lot of sight-seeing and making new friends with the locals. This past week was completely insane in preparing for my mega trip. Usually when I pack for my semester at Brown in Rhode Island, I have my efficient method of doing things and I am finished in a couple of hours. However, this was a whole different story that went beyond just packing. My mom and I were trying to figure out how we are going to keep in contact with one another without using cell phone technology. My mom doesn’t really use the internet a lot so teaching her how to use Skype was quite a challenge. We shall see how well we fare dropping our a-few-times-a-day calling to a maybe once-every-two-days Skype session.
Aside from the potential communication problems, my family has been very supportive in my decision to study abroad. I’m the one who personally feels a little intimidated about “starting from scratch;” similar to doing a whole freshmen first semester over again, except this time I am more aware of not forming idealistic expectations. It’s sometimes an inevitable part of going to a new place; the excitement is what allows you to face and conquer the unknown. However, I learned very fast first semester of freshmen year to not create a fantasy world of different places. Having been born and living my whole life in Hialeah prior to attending Brown, I wanted something new – a place that will make up for all the deficiencies I believed Hialeah to have. Rhode Island did indeed have many wonderful aspects that Hialeah did not have; yet it also had negative aspects I did not like. My ultimate lesson was to not form idealistic visions of places you have not yet firsthand experienced. That is what I plan to do with Australia. I am aware that this is the opportunity of a lifetime but I am mentally prepared for possible setbacks and obstacles. Hopefully with this mentality, I will be able to get more out of my experience.
But I am excited. I am coming into Australia with a complete open mind. I hope to make amazing new friends and have the opportunity to explore my new home for the next four months. To me it’s an extremely liberating feeling to not have my cell phone for awhile, and not have unlimited internet access. This will allow me to significantly reduce the distractions in my life and genuinely live wholeheartedly in the present moment abroad. Until next time! I feel a little stressed out flying for such a long time (I am terrified, terrified of heights), so my big concern now is surviving this flight!