August 27th. I’m not going to lie, this date has been giving me many tears and butterflies for the past couple of months. With only a few days it is hard to put my feeling into words. For eighteen years I’ve lived in the same small town, Laguna Beach. Some call it a bubble in Orange County and it is just that. It is a beautiful beach town, small and comfortable and it is where my whole life is. So why would I want to leave it? I’m asking myself the same question. As many of you may know I will not be attending college in the fall like the rest of the “normal” graduates. I’m taking a bridge year in Ecuador. Now there was much thought going into taking a year off of school. The logical part of me said no! stay home and attend a college close by, but another part of me knew that I could grow so much if I took this opportunity. My feelings are still twisted. I keep asking myself… is this the right choice? My situation is very different from my other friends and high school classmates going to college. Instead of decorating my dorm room with my new roommate, I will be living with a host family and working at an apprenticeship. Saying goodbye to my parents and my best friend won’t just be until Thanksgiving. I’m saying goodbye for eight months, but I have to remember that it is not bye forever. 3,548 miles. That is the distance from my hometown to Ecuador. Even though I’m scared to leave I know that I can not grow staying in my comfort zone. I’m not sure what to expect for my bridge year, but that also is the exciting part. During my gap year, I will take on another culture, meet new people and get to know myself a little better. I’m looking forward to making new friends, tasting new foods and being apart of a new community. I’m very excited to take on this adventure and to share it with you.