Sunday, February 2, 2014

So Long Colorado, Ahoj Prague!

It's February 2nd. The date of my departure is finally here. I woke up this morning with very mixed emotions. I knew that today was big, but for much of the time it just felt like another day. Even once I arrived at the airport and checked my bag (which I'm proud to say was technically carry-on size, thanks to space bags and a lot of mashing and squishing) I really just felt like I was going back to California for another semester of school.

Granted, a couple things are different that remind me that I'm actually going to a foreign country for five months. Little things like the fact that I wore my winter parka into the airport to save space in my bag or that my plane leaves from an "A" gate, instead of the "C" gate that would take me to Chapman. Then there are the bigger things that really make this moment seem real and substantial: I am 99% positive I am the only person at my gate whose first language is English. I recognize a bit of German, and the man next to me is reading and speaking Arabic. It makes the waiting time go just a bit faster listening to the different dialects and having close to no idea what they're saying. It puts a lot in perspective. Although I don't know their stories, these people probably felt just like me at one point. I am so accustomed to everyone speaking English, that it will be quite the transition for my brain to try to grasp another language. It scares me to think that this language barrier will exist, and I will undoubtedly struggle a lot to communicate, but I am also so fascinated by the way others communicate and so excited to learn a bit of it myself. My hope is that by the time Mason and my family comes to visit I will at least be able to have "polite" conversation and get around successfully.

Leaving Denver International Airport! 

There is something truly therapeutic about this whole blog thing. It causes me to think and really analyze my emotions instead of becoming a basket case and a Nervous Nelly (which I'm prone to. Very prone to.) I am so ready for all this trip has to offer me. I'm definitely ready for the good--we're scheduled to go to the Swan Lake Ballet and to a Czech National Hockey game--but I'm also ready to experience the "bad." I want the challenges! I want this experience to push me and make me stronger. This is really my first time ever traveling alone, and while I know I have people meeting me at the end of the flight, the time by myself is so crucial. I have time to think and ponder and just enjoy the beginning of this beautiful adventure I am so blessed to be on.

In the words of Hans Christian Andersen: "To travel is to live."
Prague, I'm comin' for ya!

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