In 22 days I will officially be out of the United States for the first time in my life. Although I planned to go on the Costa Rica study abroad trip as soon as I learned about it two years ago, for so long it was just a distant goal that seemed to be far in the future. Not anymore.
Instead of asking for a new phone or clothes this Christmas, I asked for hiking boots and a flashlight. And when it was mentioned at one of our trip meetings that I should ask for high-ankle boots because snakes will bite your ankles if they strike, everything became real to me.
At first I was just excited about the mere idea of being able to leave this country, but now that I’ve read and learned specifically about Costa Rica, its people, culture and history, I feel myself becoming invested and passionate about the country.
There is a strong possibility that I will cry from excitement at the airport in Cleveland before I depart, then again at the airport in Texas when I join my group for the last leg of the journey and again in torrents when I first set foot on Costa Rican soil.
Among all that excitement is also a lot of nervousness not only about the unfamiliarity of travelling to a foreign country, but also about being a good journalist and producing high-caliber stories to begin filling a portfolio.
It is part of my personality to worry so I must assure myself that I will be fine, but the countdown has definitely begun.
– Natalie Helms