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

Embracing the Unknown

“porque el desconocido guía aun cada uno de mis pasos” Maria Luisa Bombal, La última niebla
“because the unknown guides each of my steps”

I’m starting this first post with a quote (from a Chilean author no less!) because it’s more or less become my motto over the last few days. There’s something comforting about the unknown, about only being able to prepare so much for the path ahead because I have no way of knowing what my time abroad will be like. There are just so many moving parts to consider that I’ve decided to worry further down the road, when I can focus my concerns on something instead of everything. Right now I’m focused on preparations; since my internship ended I’ve had to actually begin thinking about leaving, which is good and bad. The time before my flight(s) has dwindled to less than 7 days, but the list of things I still need to do keeps growing. Thankfully, I do have my passport and visa, so worst case my sloppily packed bags and I will be in Chile in a few days.

One thing I know that I’ll definitely carry with me abroad is my identity. As you may have noticed thanks to the little tag next to my name, I’m an LGBTQ blogger (cue the glitter)! I’ll be publicly blogging about my time as a gay cis woman abroad. To preface this, I’m not actually “out” to a lot of people outside of my college community, mainly because I’m not good at coming out to people and don’t see it as something that’s necessary in most situations. Being gay is just one part of who I am, not the entire story, so I’ve never really been concerned with how others perceive my sexuality. However, this blog is more or less doing the job of coming out for me, which is likely a good thing. As someone who’s bad at coming out, I’m definitely interested to see how my time abroad is shaped by my identity, and if stereotypes in/about the Chilean queer community are similar to those in the United States.

To close out this first post, I can say that I’m genuinely excited to be traveling to Chile in a matter of days! While I’m (obviously) anxious about what lies ahead, the unknown still holds a strange sort of appeal. I’ve prepared as much as I can, and had many of my fears subdued thanks to IFSA Butler. I might have more questions than answers, but that’s ok. Thank you to my parents, family, friends, professors, and everyone else who has helped me get to this point in my life; I really appreciate all of the advice I’ve been given about this trip, and I’m grateful to have so many people on my side as I embark on an adventure I never imagined being able to take. I’ll stop before this gets too cheesy – catch y’all on the other hemisphere!


screenshot_20160711-194455 My most significant preparation: summiting the fake mountain in my local REI store while trying on hiking boots.

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