This semester I will be gone from September to December because I am participating in a program called Semester at Sea where I will be traveling to 11+ different countries across Europe, Africa, and Asia! I am writing this on my flight to Amsterdam where I will board the ship on September 9th. Saying goodbye to friends and family all week long and to my mom this morning were such bittersweet moments (as seen in the photo of hugging my sweet mom goodbye). This adventure that awaits me has me feeling a strong mix between excitement and nervousness. The flight I am on currently is the first time I have ever traveled solo. I hope to gain independence and a brand new perspective from the journey that lies ahead. I chose this specific program because I desired a sense of community where the world was my classroom, and I had a fresh chance to meet people from all over the world. I first applied for this program last year, so I have had plenty of time to prepare. It took me every bit of the last two weeks to pack everything into two suitcases and a carry-on for four months which has been the biggest challenge yet. What I expect to gain from all of this is growth. Lately, I have been aching for change and to broaden my horizons. This semester at sea will present me with so many new opportunities to learn and grow from. In four months, I expect to be a different person well versed culturally, personally, and emotionally.