In just a few days, I will be departing to Costa Rica to spend two months taking classes there. I’ve traveled some before, but I have never been anywhere like Costa Rica. It will be my first time to truly experience another culture, too. I suppose I chose to go there because of the opportunities I will have there. My trip is faculty led, so I will get to take 13 major-related hours while also getting great opportunities to do some research with UA faculty members. It doesn’t hurt, though, that Costa Rica is an extremely beautiful country and that we’ll be staying in the rainforest.

As far as packing goes, I’m starting to get some things together because I leave pretty soon. I’m starting to realize, though, that it’s going to be tough to get everything I need into just one suitcase and a carry on, especially since I have to pack so many bulky, waterproof shoes and other rain gear for the tropical climate I’ll be living in. I think that I am going to have to really prioritize what I’m taking and limit it to the necessities. Hopefully, though, with some clever packing techniques, I can get everything to fit.

Yes, I am nervous. I’m nervous to be going off for so long with people that I don’t really know yet. I’m nervous because I don’t really know that much Spanish. I’m nervous for a lot of things. This is all compounded by the fact that I am a generally anxious person, too. It’s not all bad, though. I try to keep my mind on the more exciting aspects like the people I’ll meet and the places I’ll get to see. I’m sure that once I get there and get settled in, I’ll be much more relaxed and comfortable.

As for my expectations, I don’t know what all to expect from this trip. I guess the main goal for me is to help me further decide my future career path and the field I want to enter since I’ll be doing some research. It wouldn’t hurt to be able to make some new friends and gain the experience of a lifetime, too, though. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.