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

It’s All up in the Air

I spent my last day at home packing and running through a ton of information with my dad, the experienced traveler of the family. The preparation process for going abroad is never-ending it seems; it began about four months ago and has been a continuous stream of papers, checklists, money matters, booking, and packing ever since. I’m sure in the end it’ll be well worth it though. I think it’s taken more of a strain on my parents than on myself. They have done so much for me and I am very grateful.

I have to admit, as I sit here in the Newark International Airport waiting for the next flight, my feelings are bittersweet. I am extremely excited about going, but at the same time I know I will miss my family terribly. I feel like I have this syndrome…I always miss the place and the people I leave behind. When I leave home I miss the U.S. and my family; when I come back home I miss the original destination and the people there. Nostalgia is my common companion in moments when I have time to sit down and reminisce. Saying goodbye to my family is always the most difficult though, despite the happy prospect of a new adventure awaiting.

Unlike the subtle tears that were evident in leaving my family, my day of travel has proven quite jovial thanks to a plethora of interesting sights and the busyness of crowded airports. I fly often but have never run into quite so many bizarre occurrences before. While going through security for the first leg of my journey, I saw a man stick a bright yellow, open bag of potato chips in one of the bins to go through the x-ray machine! I guess he didn’t get to finish them in time. I chuckled as I wondered what the person checking the x-ray screen would think. Furthermore, as I was transferring terminals here in the Newark International Airport, I saw a man on the bus that looked exactly like Miyagi (or however you spell that) from Karate Kid. No joke, he was identical. Some people look so lonely though. You know, it’s funny how in a place always swarming with people, one can feel alone. People come and people go…and if they are not buzzing back and forth then they are on their smart phones, computers, or iPads, talking to someone somewhere else. Every time I am in an airport it reminds me what a truly globalized society we live in today.

I have spent the last four hours (out of six in my lay-over) just people-watching. I like to just look at all the expressions and mannerisms…each face carries a story and it leaves me wondering what each one is. What is their destination? What are they traveling towards? What are they leaving behind? I’ll never really know…I suppose it’s the same when it comes to a lot of things in life. There is always uncertainty that seems to loom before us. Many would consider it a daunting prospect, however I think the uncertainties of life are what make it beautiful. I have no clue what will happen in Scotland or what I am going to do exactly and I prefer to keep it that way. After all, I chose to study abroad a week before the decision had to be made – I was inspired I guess you could say. I know once I arrive, the wonders of the land and the culture of the people will inspire me to even greater action. So I will not write the next five months of my life in black and white, but instead act on my love for adventure, my tendency towards spontaneity, and the subtle signs sent to my by God. In leaving my book empty I hope to be able to fill it with the best the sights and experiences that await me across the Atlantic can offer.

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