Currently, I’m sitting at my gate at JFK airport, emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted. Excited? Most definitely. Scared? Heck yeah. Not to sound pessimistic, but I cannot help myself from thinking that I was crazy to embark on such a journey thousands of miles away from my home. In my eyes, I’m just a 20-year-old girl from a small island in the Caribbean with big dreams. From the day I decided to leave home for boarding school at age 16, I predicted that every year since then would be an adventure. Looking back on previous years, I can definitely confirm that, that prediction was correct. Studying abroad is not new to me. I had to adjust to the culture in the United States when I moved here for high school, then I adjusted to a different lifestyle in college, and here I am now- off to Oviedo, Spain. Everywhere I go, I take a little piece of the experience with me, which has made me stronger, smarter, and more grateful for the opportunities that present itself each year. When I was thinking about studying abroad, I read through what felt like thousands of blogs, trying to decide if this was something I actually wanted to do. The truth is everyone is different and everyone has a different experience but each of us brings something new and exciting to each adventure we embark upon. That is the most exciting part about studying abroad- each person, including myself, has a different identity but that’s what makes life so precious and unique! There is so much beauty in speaking a new language, eating new food, and meeting new people. The different perspectives, the struggles, a new rhythm of life- each country has its own story to tell and I am SO excited to see what Spain is all about. I once came across this quote that said, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” I hope to embrace these differences and challenge myself in the upcoming months. España, estoy lista!

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