I have no idea what the next year has in store. Honestly, it's is a little nerve-wracking, as I am somewhat of a chronic over-planner. If you were to take a look at my laptop, you would find multiple documents detailing everything about my study abroad process. I have spreadsheets dedicated to program information, to places I want to travel, to scholarships, as well as a very detailed packing list (pictures included). I knew I wanted to study abroad before I knew where I wanted to go to college, but I don’t really know what it’s going to be like once I take that one-way flight.
I sort of know what to expect. I have ideas and daydreams, some lofty and some more tangible. I know that I want to travel, both within Italy and to neighboring countries. However, I don’t want to spend every weekend traveling, I want to settle down in the community. I want Perugia to become my home, not just my launching-point for European travel.
This desire is part of why I decided to study abroad for the whole academic year. I remember my freshman year of college when I left Minnesota to go to school in Kentucky. The entire first semester was a blur. It took those three months just to get to know the campus and feel at home. So, I decided that if I really want to say that I lived abroad, if I want to really appreciate the language, the culture, and the people, taking two semesters would benefit me more than one.
Of course, I made that decision nearly a year ago. Now, as I count down the days until I fly out, the idea of leaving home and going to a country where I don’t speak the language and only know a few people (none of whom are in my city), is a little daunting.
As I do everything for the last time: last bonfire, last lake day, last shift at work, last minute packing (really, how on earth does one pack for an entire year in one carry-on and one checked bag?! – to be revisited), I remember a word I saw on a Pinterest travel board a few months back:
Resfeber is a Swedish word, the translation approximately being: the nervous feeling you get before you travel, anxiety, excitement, and anticipation all rolled into one.
It pretty much sums up exactly how I am feeling right now. Of course, I’m anxious. None of my previous travel or even going out of state for school can really prepare me for living in a foreign country for the entire year. However, I try not to let my nerves overcome the positive feelings I have, the excitement and anticipation. Studying abroad is something I have been wanting to do forever, who knows when I will have another chance to live in another country for a year! I am confident that no matter what happens, I will learn from it. I will take this year to learn from my successes and failures, to (hopefully) learn more Italian, and most importantly, something I am already learning, that it's okay not to know what will happen next.