Whatever You Do, Don’t Panic

It was September 2004. I was on a flight to Madrid by myself for a study abroad program. It was the first time I’d be away from home for such a long period of time. In the plane I started panicking about being alone and so I stupidly left my cell phone on during the flight so I could feel more connected to my family. Of course, that backfired and my phone was dead by the time I arrived in Spain..

The same panic is slowly creeping up on me now. Sure I’m not 20yrs old anymore, and I have a few more international romps under my belt, but the same nervousness and fear is there. The “was this the right choice” — “I could have just stayed home and been just as happy” — “what am I even going to do when I get there” is all too familiar. And don’t even get me started on the process it was to even get to this point (ok scratch that, I’m totally going to divulge all that madness in a later post.) But that panic and fear is a good thing right? I remember feeling a little unsure about Madrid – I had just had a fantastic summer in DC and started thinking maybe I didn’t want to study in Madrid after all. I guess it’s a little similar to the pangs of sadness I had after having an awesome summer in NYC . But then I remember seriously considering extending my time abroad for another semester once in Madrid. Those few months  ended up being some of the best months I had in college.

So, being older and wiser, clearly I should use this as evidence that all these feelings are a good thing. Or maybe I’m just trying to convince myself more than anything else. More to follow once I touch down in Italia.

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