The Final Countdown

Its official! I’m going to Spain in less than ONE week. Just as I have settled into UW-Madison, I will soon be pressing the reset button. Although I am so excited to go to Europe, for the first time ever, might I add, the nerves are kicking in. I am starting to realize I have no idea what to expect and I really don’t know as much Spanish as I thought I did. I’ve discovered the best way to stop myself from worrying is to avoid thinking about all the things that could go wrong at all costs. Whether or not that is a good strategy is up for debate.

As my panic sets in, I have been reading countless returned student stories and watching my favorite shows on Netflix with Spanish subtitles as some last minute preparation. If you can’t tell, I will be taking a “sink or swim” approach upon my arrival in Madrid. However, I am very hopeful that my experience is one filled with good food, good conversation, new perspectives, new friends, and maybe even a new home. Maybe that list is a little long. But I have high expectations for España!

In the meantime, my other preparations for my time abroad have been going well. That is if you include googling pictures of Spain, checking on the weather and researching the best street food as preparation. I actually have taken the liberty of purchasing some essentials such as an outlet converter, dual-voltage flat iron (apparently US hair tools don’t do well in Europe… picture smoke), and most importantly a big ol’ suitcase.

As a procrastinator (could you tell?), it has been difficult fielding questions from curious relatives and friends. For example, “Where are you going to live while you’re there?” is a popular question that I do not have an answer to. “You’re a picky eater, what are you going to eat there?” That’s another fun question. “Can you speak Spanish fluently?” Well, that’s a work in progress. However, there is one question I know the answer to, “Are you going to any soccer games?” Of course.

I don’t know exactly what Spain has in store for me, but I am excited to share my experiences- the good, the bad, and maybe even the ugly. It still feels surreal that I will be six time zones away this time next week, and especially that I won’t be able to see my dog for four months, but I can say with confidence that I’m ready for this once in a lifetime experience (thanks mom and dad, 🙂 love you!).

¡Nos vemos en España!