Chapter 1

By Emily Rackers

COLUMBIA, Mo.— It’s the eve (well… 17 days away) of my Costa Rica departure. It’s also Stop Day eve- the unofficial holiday of all overworked college students. My Stop Day eve has been touched by Murphy’s Law. Anything that can go wrong really has gone wrong today. I’m getting sick, stressed about wrapping up the semester, my car needs an oil change and to top it off, my Macbook completely gave up on life today.

Disney Channel movies tell me that there’s a lesson here somewhere. A lesson about making it through the day when it seems easier to go to sleep and start again tomorrow; and a lesson about looking at the blessings instead of the misgivings of life.

So let’s talk about Costa Rica:

  1. There will be spiders. Big, hairy spiders. I’m going to experience a habitat and climate totally different from my own. Bonus points if I manage to take a picture with one without crying.
  2.  I’ll be away from my family and friends for two weeks. I’ll be exploring who I am as an individual.
  3. I won’t be in my hometown for New Year’s Eve. Ringing in the #newyearnewme in a foreign country sounds pretty cool. I’ll just have to pack some 2016 party glasses.
  4. I’ll get homesick. I’ll appreciate what it means to be home and surrounded by the familiar.
  5. I’ll be wearing “field clothes.” OK so yeah, this isn’t going to be a study abroad where I pack my favorite booties and take pictures with artisan coffee. This is going to be a trip where I truly get to spend more time enjoying my new environment without worrying about my makeup smudging or if this outfit will photograph well.
  6. This is going to be the adventure of a lifetime. No strikeout needed.


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