I get ridiculously nostalgic on January 29th. It was six years ago today that my nerves were out of control as I crammed the last of four months worth of junk into my suitcase and waited anxiously until it was time to drive to the SF International Airport.
I was about to meet the seventeen other students I would be traveling over to Bath, England with, for my college study abroad semester. I was freaking out. Would I like them? Would they like me? Would I love my classes? Would my classes consume all of my time? Would I travel as much as I wanted? Would I get homesick? Would I love or hate my host family? ...
I had no idea what to expect and I was a monstrous mix of scared and excited. I'm not a natural risk taker. I don't enjoy stepping out of my comfort zone for even a minute. Studying abroad was not on my list of things-to-do, as I never imagined I'd have the courage to get on a plane and live my life in a different country, even if it was only for a few months.
But, six years ago, I was one semester away from graduating university, I was in the process of ending a long relationship, and I was sitting bored, in one of my classes when the Study Abroad coordinator walked to the front of the room and said "I'm here to tell you ten reasons why you should study abroad in Bath, England in the Spring semester."
She listed her ten reasons and I sat there frozen as my life seemed to click into place.
I HAD to go to England. I had to study in Bath. I absolutely felt, with every fiber of my being, that packing my bags, getting on a plane and starting over, was completely necessary.
WOW has my life changed as a result.
When I think back to my college days, though I was in school for years, its the friends I made during my study abroad that I think of with the fondest memories. There was something about the eighteen of us, thrown together in an unfamiliar culture, traveling around Europe together, making memories in a foreign country together, that changed me forever.
And, as I've blogged about before, it was three weeks into my trip, while in the Dublin airport after traveling around Ireland with some of my classmates-turned-friends, that I sat myself down next to the cutest guy in the airport... and met my husband, Will.