Preparing to Go to Argentina

It’s all becoming so real. A bittersweet mix of endings and beginnings, of direction and uncertainty, of excitement and apprehension. I’ve had countless moments where I’m talking with my best friends, making plans for Spring semester, and forgetting that I’ll be more than 5,000 miles away.

I think of everything I’ll be leaving behind, but also everything I’ll gain in place. I think that’s where the beauty lies. By knowing that everything will change in a few days, I’ve begun to appreciate the little things at UW-Madison – the snow falling as I walk up Bascom Hill, the convenience of the Starbucks on State Street, and the irreplaceable friendships I’ve formed over the past two years. As the days rapidly approach my departure, I fear that these memories are fading into the distance, and the elusive familiarity is replaced by inevitable change.

So maybe I’m just being a little dramatic. Besides looking up more about the beaches and nightlife of Buenos Aires, cultural and other historical sites, and beautiful male soccer players, I discovered that there are 37 Starbucks in the city. So basically, since I’ll be practically surrounded by vanilla lattes, I know everything has to be okay for a coffee-lover like me. I’m really looking forward to trying yerba mate tea, and I’m sure the coffee in South America will even put Starbucks to shame.

Even in a new city, I’ll be submerged in the foreign familiarity of meeting new people. I’ll witness the beautiful sites of the bustling Buenos Aires, the roaring Iguazu Falls, and the snow-ridden Patagonia. Just like Madison, the seasons will change (and luckily be WAY warmer). I, too, will change as a person from the experiences that await. This uncertainty I’m feeling, of not knowing where my adventures will lead, is maybe the best thing that could happen. Through my college experience so far, I’ve learned that life revolves around taking chances, around losing one’s footing momentarily, to find strength, success, and ultimately self-discovery. A life without risk is only a life waiting to begin.